In 2008, former Illinois Senator Barack Obama made history as the first Black President of the United States. While his victory was historic, the federal government was still left with many "firsts" to be accomplished. The state of New York has yet to have an openly gay Black woman serve in the United States senate. An HBCU grad has yet to represent the state of North Dakota in Congress. The list of "firsts" that have yet to be accomplished goes on and one. Luckily each day leaders throughout the country show younger generations that barriers are meant to be broke down. This election cycle featured some of the first Black leaders to hold their respective positions. Without further ado, let's meet some of the "firsts" of the 2020 Election.
In 2017, New York City Councilman was arrested for protesting potential budget cuts to the city's Housing and Urban Development budget. Three years later, he is the first openly gay Afro-Latino to represent the state of New York in Congress. Torres will represent the New York's 15th District after Rep. José Serrano retired.
Shortly after Ritchie Torres made history as the first openly gay Afro-Latino to represent New York in Congress, Mondaire Jones made history of his own. The former lawyer and nonprofit founder has become the first openly gay Black man to represent New York in Congress. Jones will represent New York's 17th District next year.
Cori Bush went from the streets of Ferguson to the floor of the Capitol in just six years. When Ferguson, Missouri was mourning the killing of Michael Brown, Bush emerged as a leading community activist in the greater St. Louis area. Now, she will represent Missouri's 1st District in Congress next year.
While former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump continue to battle for votes in Florida, Michele Rayner has already made history. Tonight, the civil rights attorney has become the first Black female queer state legislator in Florida. Rayner will represent the 70th District in the Florida State House.
Shevrin Jones will follow in the footsteps of Michele Rayner. On November 3, he became the first openly LGBTQ Black state senator in Florida. Jones will represent the state's 35 district.
New York is making history in a number of ways. From Ritchie Torres to Mondaire Jones, there is no shortage of trailblazers emerging out of the Empire State. Joining in on the fun, Jabari Brisport has been elected as the state representative for New York's 25th District. He will be the first Black LGBTQ+ person elected to state legislature.
Cobb County has produced a number of highly-successful people over the years. From rapper Lil' Yachty to Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay, Cobb County is known for many things. Now, the state will be known for the success of Craig Owens. On Tuesday, he became the county's first Black sheriff.
Kim Jackson has made history in the state of Georgia. She has become the first openly Black LGBTQ+ person elected to the state's senate.
Yes, there is a city in Texas called Texas City. In the country's 100+ history, the city had not elected a Black mayor. However, that all changed on Tuesday when Dedrick Johnson became the city's first Black mayor.
"It's not something that has just gone unnoticed, obviously. But, once again, what's more significant to me is not necessarily that I'm the first African American to lead the city, but, that I do such a good job to where I'm not the last. I just want to make sure that everybody feels safe and secure in knowing that you've chosen a leader who's going to do what's best for the entire city," Johnson said.
Madinah Wilson-Anton proves that making history has no age barrier. At just 27-years-old, she has become the first Mulsim woman to serve in the state's general assembly.
Mauree Turner is bringing change to the Sooner State. As the country awaits the results of the presidential election, Turner can sleep easy because she has made history. Next year, she will be sworn in as the nation's first Black non-binary state legislator.
Ilhan Omar will have welcomed company in the state of Minnesota very soon. On November 3, Omar Fateh made history as the first Somali-American man to be elected to the Minnesota state senate.
Brandon Scott is by no means the first Black mayor of Baltimore, Maryland. He is also a far cry from being the first Democratic mayor in Baltimore. This November, he became the youngest mayor the city has ever had. At 36 years old, he will follow the controversial Catherine Pugh.
Spelman College has produced some of the most accomplished Black women in American history. From Stacey Abrams to Esther Rolle, the Atlanta college has been home to industry leaders for nearly 150 years. This year, Shalena Cook will join the long list of accomplished alumnae. Cook has been elected as the first district attorney of Chatham County. She is the first Black woman to hold this position.
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