Refresh… refresh… refresh… *checks internet connection* Refresh… refresh… refresh…

Oh, hi there. That was just a rundown of my life from election night until the Associated Press called the presidential election. OK, in reality, I had to work. But I’m sure I’m not alone when I say it was hard to concentrate during those days of uncertainty.

We’ve all been so focused on who will sit in the Oval Office in 2021. But we also have other 2020 general election victories to celebrate. Yeah, we do! I’m talking about the wins in your states and counties that champion inclusivity and reduce stigma — the wins that help communities come together and grow.

I channeled my nervous energy into making this list of victories from every state plus D.C. There’s a lot of big wins here for cannabis legalization, diverse representation, and anti-racist policies. And by no means is this an exhaustive list, of course. It’s just what I could find before deadline. After all, hope in our future sometimes needs to start small — like, local and district small.

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Cactus Creative Studio/Stocksy

  • Not much on the ballot front happened here.

  • Time to stock up on those fancy grow lights. The Grand Canyon State legalized recreational cannabis for those 21 and up. And you can grow your own stash — up to 6 plants, or 12 if you live with another adult.

  • Hmmm… Refresh… refresh… refresh…

  • The Golden State voted to restore voting rights to people with felony convictions who are on parole. The move gives more than 50,000 people the right to vote.
  • Christy Holstege won reelection to the Palm Springs City Council, also becoming the nation’s first openly bisexual mayor. Palm Springs rotates the position of mayor among council members.
  • Elected to the California Assembly, 25-year-old Alex Lee became the state’s youngest lawmaker. He is also the first California legislator to be openly bisexual.
  • Rep. Mark Takano won reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2012, Takano became the first openly gay person of color to be elected to Congress.

  • Despite being targeted with anti-LGBTQ+ ads this year, state Rep. Brianna Titone won reelection. Titone became the state’s first openly transgender lawmaker in 2018.
  • David Ortiz, a military veteran, became the first person who uses a wheelchair to be elected to the Colorado House of Representatives. Ortiz is also Colorado’s first openly bisexual candidate to be elected to that office.
  • By winning election to the Colorado House, Iman Jodeh also made history as the state’s first Muslim legislator.
  • The Centennial State voted yes to Paid Family and Medical Leave for all Colorado employees. The state also voted to reintroduce gray wolves. #HowlCool

  • Borrow a cup of sugar from New York, will ya?

  • Florida voters approved a minimum-wage bump, voting to increase the amount from $8.56 to $15 per hour by 2026.
  • Christopher Benjamin became the first Muslim American elected to a statewide office in Florida after a successful campaign for the state House of Representatives.
  • The Sunshine State also elected Shevrin Jones to the state Senate, making him Florida’s first openly LGBTQ+ state senator.
  • And Michele Rayner-Goolsby just became the first queer Black woman elected to Florida’s House.

  • All eyes are totally on you, Georgia! While we wait for you to count ballots, let’s give a round of applause for Rep. Sam Park, who was reelected to the Georgia House of Representatives. In 2016, Park made history as the first gay man elected to the Georgia General Assembly. Now get back to counting ballots, and let’s hope the results are peachy.

  • Adrian Tam, newly elected to Hawaii’s House of Representatives, just beat out a Proud Boy chapter leader. (Bye, Nick Ochs!) Tam is currently the only out LGBTQ+ member of Hawaii’s House. Go, Tam!

  • Idaho? I dunno. (See Montana.)

  • Jill Rose Quinn, elected as a Cook County Judge, is the first openly transgender elected official in the state and the fourth transgender judge in the United States.

  • Check another state that begins with “I.”

  • Corn!

  • Kansas elected Stephanie Byers, a retired Wichita public high school teacher, to its state legislature. Byers, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, is the state’s first transgender legislator.
  • Rep. Sharice Davids was reelected to the U.S. House of Representatives for her second term. In 2018 Davids, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, became one of the first two Indigenous women elected to Congress. That year the former MMA fighter also became the first lesbian-identifying Native American member of Congress and the first openly LGBTQ+ member from Kansas. Whew! That’s a lot of firsts.

  • Bourbon! Just pour yourself a glass, already.

  • Two public defenders won Orleans Criminal District Court judgeships, unseating incumbents — something that hasn’t happened in 40 years. The wins for Angel Harris and Nandi Campbell are wins for the “Flip the Bench” campaign to create justice reform in a state that’s known as the “incarceration capital.” Nice work!

  • Voters in Portland, Maine, opted to boost the minimum wage from $12 to $15 per hour. In the same city, voters approved several tenant protections, including placing limits on rental increases and creating a rental board to mediate landlord-tenant disputes.

  • Maryland legalized sports betting, which will raise money for public education. Now you can say your vice is for the kids.

  • Massachusetts was focused on cars for some reason with its “right to repair” ballot measure. The change gives car owners and independent auto shops more access to vehicles’ computerized data for repair purposes. That way you have more freedom in where you take your car to get fixed. You bored yet? Yeah, me too. Read on.
  • Rep. Ayanna Pressley was reelected this year. Pressley made history as the first Black woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress after her election in 2018.

  • Michigan, we’re just going to pause here a moment to give your beautiful mitten hand a high-five. Thank you to the poll workers for not stopping the count. Thank you for soldiering on despite the a-holes pounding on the windows. We love you.

  • Rep. Angie Craig again won her seat for the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2018, Craig became the first lesbian mom elected to Congress.
  • Rep. Ilhan Omar also won reelection. In 2018, Omar became one of the first Muslim women and the first Somali American elected to Congress.

  • Cori Bush just became the first Black woman to represent Missouri in Congress.

  • From its constitution, Nebraska voted to remove slavery as a punishment for a crime. Yeah, apparently that was still in there.

  • Hey, Nevada! We don’t want to distract you while you’re counting ballots, but we do want to praise you for being a unicorn among the states. Nevada just became the first state to protect gay marriage in its constitution, y’all! XOXO!

  • With their first wins in 2018, Rep. Gerri Cannon and Rep. Lisa Bunker became New Hampshire’s first openly transgender legislators. We’re happy to report their reelection.
  • Joshua Query came out as gender-nonconforming during their first term as a New Hampshire state legislator. With reelection, Query is now the first openly gender-nonconforming person elected to a state legislature.

  • For the first time, New Mexico elected all women of color to the U.S. House of Representatives. Congratulations to Rep. Deb Haaland, Yvette Herrell, and Teresa Leger Fernandez!

  • Mondaire Jones and Ritchie Torres both won seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. By doing so, they have become the first Black LGBTQ+ members of Congress. Torres is also the first Afro-Latinx LGBTQ+ member of Congress.
  • Jabari Brisport, elected to the state Senate, became New York’s first LGBTQ+ legislator of color.

  • Allison Dahle just won reelection. She became one of the first out LGBTQ+ members of the North Carolina legislature when first elected in 2018.

  • Uff da. (See South Dakota, Minnesota, or Montana.)

  • You’re round on both sides but hi in the middle. Yeah, I know the riddle.

  • OK, Oklahoma! See what I did there? Mauree Turner has officially become the first Muslim elected to the Oklahoma legislature and the first nonbinary legislator in the nation. Woot!

  • The Beaver State became the first state to decriminalize personal-use amounts of substances such as heroin. Instead of facing incarceration, those found with drugs in their possession will have the option of paying a small fine or attending a recovery program.
  • Oregonians also voted to legalize psilocybin, aka psychedelic mushrooms, for therapeutic use for conditions like depression and anxiety.
  • Desi Nicodemus just became the first Black man elected to the Milwaukie, Oregon, City Council.
  • The residents of Multnomah County voted for free preschool for all (well, for the little ones ages 3 to 4, anyway).

  • Keep counting, Keystone State!

  • Tiara Mack’s election makes her the first Black LGBTQ+ member of Rhode Island’s state legislature.
  • Rhode Island also voted to remove the shady phrase “And Providence Plantations” from the state’s official name.

  • See the other Carolina.

  • South Dakotans voted all-in on the herb. They voted in favor of legalizing recreational and medical cannabis in a package deal.

  • Ann Johnson, who is part of the LGBTQ+ community as a lesbian and an ally, secured a seat on the Texas House of Representatives.

  • Utah is another state that had slavery as a punishment for a crime in its constitution. The state has now voted to make some serious revisions.

  • The Green Mountain State elected 26-year-old Taylor Small, the first openly transgender member of the state’s legislature.

  • The Evergreen State’s vote to elect Marilyn Strickland to the U.S. House of Representatives makes her the first Korean American woman elected to Congress and the first Black representative from Washington.

  • Washington, D.C., just voted in favor of decriminalizing psychedelic plants. That means enforcing laws that criminalize the possession of psychedelics will become the “lowest enforcement priority.” Yes, surely the cops have other things to do besides bother with your ’shrooms.

  • See the other Virginia.

  • Samba Baldeh’s win makes him the first Muslim elected to the Wisconsin state legislature.

  • If you live in the Cowboy State, saddle up and see Colorado, Montana, or South Dakota.

Jennifer Chesak is a Nashville-based freelance book editor and writing instructor. She earned her Master of Science in journalism from Northwestern’s Medill and is working on her first fiction novel, set in her native state of North Dakota.