I love that Trish jumped right into my favorite topic – Daryl Metcalfe’s reign of holy terror in Pennsylvania.
I had been planning a one week reflection on the election, but was derailed by tendinitisand well … OMG, its been a week? Like my sister blogger, I think there is a lot of interesting “space” between the federal elections ass-kicking and the state of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, so to speak.
Kyrsten Sinema became the first openly bisexual person elected to the US Congress (Arizona.)
The bright spots?
- Marriage equality *won* in all four referendums (Maryland, Minnesota, Washington and Maine)
- Tammy Baldwin is the first openly LGBTQ person to be elected to the United States Senate – she represents Wisconsin
- Pennsylvania elected our first openly gay man to serve in the PA General Assembly – Brian Sims
- Arizona elected the nation’s first openly bisexual person to serve in Congress, Krysten Sinema
- West Virginia elected their first openly gay man to serve in their General Assembly
- The Victory Fund endorsed 180 candidates; 122 won.
What does it mean?
Well, I hope it means the base remains mobilized and works on the ground on issues in Pennsylvania – from the school boards to the General Assembly. I agree we need more candidates – more progressive candidates. Not “pro-life” LGBTQ persons who seem to have missed the connection between right to privacy and their own lives … a rant for another day.
But I go one step to the left of Trish and say that the *party* needs to do a better job of connecting with the LGBTQ constituency and voters. In my opinion, the candidates did that successfully – but not so much the party. We keep getting these endorsed candidates who simply have little to no concern for our community and they end up doing dumbass things like supporting “marriage protection” amendments instead of creating jobs and addressing funding for public transportation.
I also want to stop hearing about the Pittsburgh/Philadelphia with “Alabama in the middle” meme … its crap. Yes, we are a blue end of the state but we still spit out socially conservative Democrats (like Mark Critz) who don’t really reflect the unique type of progressivism grounded in the Pittsburgh region. I know many Catholics who believe in birth control, marriage equality and access to abortion. They also believe in their Church. Like Joe Biden and John Kerry believe, not Paul Ryan believe.
While I’d agree the challenge is to run candidates, I also think we have to do a better story of telling our stories – all of our stories. Not just our two white lesbians with a minivan in the suburbs stories. And we need to tell those stories to our committeefolks and very local elected officials. We need more school board candidates seeking the endorsement of the Gertrude Stein Club and Stonewall Democrats.
But mostly we need to educate our own community – drive home the reality of our situation and encourage them to take action. This election has demonstrated to us that mobilization and hope can bring about amazing things. I have confidence things can turn in Pennsylvania, but I’m concerned that more members of the LGBTQ community will retreat into denial and lose touch with our sisters and brothers who are most vulnerable – because of their orientation, identity, economic status and more.
The ongoing battle around Voter ID and the disproportionate impact on our trans sisters and brothers should be evidence that its not going to be easy.
There’s hope, but it requires that we remain hopeful together.
NOTE: I was smiling at how Trish beat me to the political post; that’s exactly why I jumped at the chance to bring her on board!