Progressive Elections

By Marla Garden

The elections held on 11/7/17 yielded many positive results.

New Jersey:

Philip Murphy- Democrat | Governor
Murphy wants to legalize cannabis to lower the conviction rates of black people with cannabis-related offenses. New Jersey currently has the largest gap of cannabis-related conviction rates between black people and white people in the US.

Sheila Olive- Democrat | Lieutenant Governor
Olive aims to find alternative ways to fund schools and in turn lower taxes. Sheila is the first black woman to be elected lieutenant governor.

“I learned earlier on from my activist days that government can indeed change life for people.” – Sheila Olive

Ravi Bhalla- Democrat | Mayor of Hoboken, NJ
Mayor Bhalla wants to hold the line on taxes, solve infrastructure problems in relation to Hurricane Sandy, and to create more open space. Bhalla is New Jersey’s first Sikh mayor in state history.


Yvonne Spicer- Democrat | Mayor of Framingham, MA
Yvonne is the first mayor of Framingham, as they just voted to become a city. She is a black woman and aims to provide a seat at the table for everyone.


Ralph Northam- Democrat | Governor
Ralph wrote to Virginia state legislature about racial disparities in the enforcement of cannabis legislation. In Virginia, too, black people are targeted for cannabis-related offenses more often than white people. Northam is also a licensed physician; stating that he is “increasingly convinced by the data showing potential health benefits of marijuana, such as pain relief, drug-resistant epilepsy, and treatment for PTSD.”

Danica Roem- Democrat | Virginia House of Delegates
Danica suggests “Read your local newspaper! My political philosophy is based on 10.5 years of professional journalism,” we couldn’t agree more. Roem wants to improve Virginia’s transportation and education. She is the first openly transgender lawmaker in the history of Virginia.

Elizabeth Guzman- Democrat | Virginia House of Delegates
Hala Ayala- Democrat | Virginia House of Delegates
Guzman and Ayala are the first Latinas ever to be elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.

Andrea Jenkins- Democrat | Mayor of Minneapolis, MN
Mayor Jenkins has long been an activist, poet, and historian who aims to give the mic to more transgender people and people of color. She is the first openly transgender black woman to hold public office in our country.

“Transgender people have been here forever, and black transgender people have been here forever. I’m really proud to have achieved that status, and I look forward to more trans people joining me in elected office, and all other kinds of leadership roles in our society.” – Mayor Andrea Jenkins via Washington Post

Phillipe Cunningham- Democrat | Minneapolis City Council
Phillipe wants to strengthen Minneapolis’ community and act as a representative of and public servant to Northsiders. Cunningham is Minneapolis’ first openly trans black man to be elected to city council

Melvin Carter- Democrat | Mayor of St. Paul, MN
Carter’s platform is comprised of goals to reduce educational disparities, employment disparities and improving relations between the community and police. Carter is St. Paul’s first black mayor.

North Carolina:

Vi Lyles- Democrat | Mayor of Charlotte, NC
Vi Lyles is the first black woman mayor of Charlotte.

New Hampshire:

Joyce Craig- Democrat | Mayor of Manchester, NH
Joyce is the first woman mayor in Manchester’s 266 years.


Tyler Titus- Democrat | Erie School Board
Tyler is the first openly transgender person ever to be elected in Pennsylvania.