How Progressive Beliefs Still Won Last Night

Catherine Cortez Masto, who became the first Latina to serve in the Senate.

If you're feeling disappointed by Tuesday night's presidential election results, you may find solace in the progressive change operating across the nation. Many states with ballot initiatives passed laws that will positively affect gun control, the war on drugs, higher wages, and health. Women also made history across the country. Here are some highlights.

  1. Voters in California restricted the sale of ammunitions. People who want to purchase ammunition in California will now have to pass a background check. Proposition 63 also banned all large-capacity magazines from the state.
  2. Nevada passed an initiative to expand background checks for gun purchases.
  3. Recreational marijuana was legalized in California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Maine.
  4. Florida, North Dakota, and Arkansas all passed medical marijuana initiatives.
  5. Several states raised minimum wages. Arizona, Colorado, and Maine will raise their minimum hourly wages to $12 by 2020. Washington voted to raise its minimum wage to $13.50 by 2020.
  6. Joe Arpaio was unseated. The notorious sheriff from Phoenix, AZ, was the self-described "toughest sheriff" in America with a deeply harsh stance on immigration. His position was so staunch, he was investigated by the Justice Department. Voters picked Democrat Paul Penzone.
  7. Citizens in San Francisco and Oakland, CA; Boulder, CO; and Albany, NY, voted for a tax on sugary soft drinks. Boulder will now have a two-cent excise tax on soda, while the other cities will have a one-cent tax.
  8. Five remarkable women were elected to the Senate and Congress, marking many firsts for their states. Tammy Duckworth was elected in Illinois, making her the first Thai-American woman to be elected to the Senate. Kamala Harris, who won in California, is the first Indian American and the second black woman to serve in the Senate. Stephanie Murphy, from Florida, will be the first Vietnamese-American woman to serve in the House. Pramila Jayapal in Washington state will be the first Indian-American woman to serve in the House. A woman who was a refugee from Somalia, Ilhan Omar, was elected to Minnesota's state legislature. And Catherine Cortez Masto won a Senate seat in Nevada, making her the first Latina to ever serve as state senator.
  9. Kate Brown was elected governor of Oregon, and she is the first openly bisexual woman to ever become governor.