As election night concluded and the results trickled in overnight, I refreshed my social media feeds and listened to my They See Blue friends discuss the results. The sense of solidarity and comraderie is something I do not take for granted. We started the evening nervous and bracing for agonizing losses.
I woke this morning with the knowledge that all the people on the ballot I voted for have won or are in the lead. The feeling is heady. There is a huge sense of relief. There is quiet joy. In the midst of all of this is a sense of awe in knowing that individual actions helped make this happen. We worked as a collective, yet it took each one of us with the ability to vote to show up, mail in and record our voices.
Groups of people worked tirelessly in the lead up to yesterday. It took countless hours of calling, walking, texting and writing to reach the average American. The ones who want to have a say in bodily autonomy, in ensuring safe schools for their children, in a decent minimum wage, in controlling runaway prescription prices, in basic infrastructure. It took outreach using shared cultural, linguistic and racial heritage. It took constant reminders in common places physically and digitally.
As I sit back and savor the wins this morning, I realize this midterm election was historic. We have three states enshrine the right to reproductive health care and abortion in the state constitution. Here in Pennsylvania, while the oxygen is rightfully being sucked up by the huge Senate and Governor races, the down ballot wins tell the story. There is quiet change happening and it is fueled by dedicated people setting aside time from their regular life in the pursuit of what they believe in.
These are everyday Americans working full time jobs and raising families. They hold up signs, show up at school boards, speak at town halls, knock on doors, do social media blitzes, hold each other up when enthusiasm flags and power through with the sheer strength of their beliefs.
This is my ode to these unsung heroes, the wind beneath the wings of those running for power. May your tribe increase.
Democracy, when it works, is a beautiful thing.