Obama won big last night, as did progressive senators like Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin. Gay marriage won at the ballot for the first time, and did so in multiple states. Several states took steps towards saner, more humane drug laws.
It was a big night for liberal America, and a bad one for the Tea Party. Sunny has a great post up about other election night winners & losers.
One more big winner from last night: Our kids.
Here’s a quick roundup of how the federal government we elected and some of the state ballot measures that passed can help our children.
Healthcare: Obamacare is good for everyone, but it’s especially good for kids. Kids with preexisting conditions can no longer be denied insurance, and all kids can stay on their parents’ insurance until they’re 26. Over 6 million young people have taken advantage of that provision already.
Education: My 5-year-old told me to vote for the president who would make her school better. Obama’s policies on education, from working to reduce class sizes to doubling funding for Pell grants, make education more accessible and better quality for kids from all walks of life. I hope in his second term he’ll show us how much he cares about education reform by moving away from the restrictive policies of No Child Left Behind towards a more flexible and inclusive approach.
Work and family policies: Repeat after me, elected officials: PAID FAMILY LEAVE. You can do it! I have faith in you, whether I should or not. Also on my wish list: workplace protections for nursing mothers, higher limits on childcare and healthcare FSA accounts, and affordable early childhood programs. Just to pick a few.
Saner drug laws: I don’t want my kids smoking up behind their high school a few years from now. (Hear that kids? Do as I say, not as I did.) If they do wander into recreational drug use, though, I want them to do it in a world that isn’t going to leave them with a criminal record for smoking a joint. I also want the many parents I know who indulge in a little pot once in awhile to do so without fear of legal repercussions. I’m proud of my home state for approving medical marijuana last night, and hope we’ll go further and join Washington and Colorado in just legalizing the stuff altogether.
Marriage rights: Everyone wins when we expand marriage rights to include LGBT families, as three states did last night. The children in LGBT households get the legal, financial and social benefits of their parents’ marriages, and children throughout the community benefit from being part of a community doing the right thing.
Women’s rights: Sending a record number of women to the senate sends a clear message to our kids: you really can grow up to be whatever you want. In particular, you can grow up to be heard and respected as a person wielding power in this country.
What wins do you see for our kids in the election results?
Sierra Black has been writing for Strollerderby since 2009. Her work has appeared in Salon, the New York Times, Huffington Post and many other places. She chronicles her adventures in parenting at ChildWild.