It is November 9, and Donald Trump is the president-elect of the United States

However, tonight hasn't been a complete wash. The 2016 election offered major boosts to our democracy that may be overshadowed by the looming possibility of a Trump presidency.

Here are nine ways America proved its already great:


Catherine Cortez Masto won Nevada. She's now the first Latina senator.

The Koch brothers didn't endorse Trump, but they did spend more than $1 million dollars trying to ensure that Catherine Cortez Masto didn't win a Senate seat.

Luckily, they failed. She's now a Nevada senator, which is a historic first for Latinos. Cortez Masto defeated incumbent Joe Heck, according to The New York Times.


Kamala Harris made history by becoming the second Black female senator — ever.

Kamala Harris
photo: Wikimedia Commons

Kamala Harris is now California's senate-elect. The former California attorney general is the second Black woman to serve in the senate, according to NBC News. She beat her opponent, Loretta Sanchez, by over 1.3 million votes, according to The Los Angeles Times. In her victory speech, Harris encouraged her supporters to continue fighting for equality.

"Whatever the results of the presidential election tonight, we know that we have a task in front of us. We know the stakes are high," Harris said, according to The LA Times. "When we have been attacked and when our ideals and fundamental ideals are being attacked, do we retreat or do we fight? I say we fight!"


Pramila Jayapal won a House of Representatives seat in Seattle.

Pramila Jayapal
photo: Twitter/airhrs

Pramila Jayapal wants the 7th district of Washington, her new stomping grounds, to be a "light in the darkness."

"If our worst fears are realized, we will be on the defense as of tomorrow,” she told supporters, according to The Seattle Times. "We will have to fight for social justice as never before."


Tammy Duckworth rose from the House of Representatives to the Senate.

Tammy Duckworth
photo: Wikimedia Commons

Representative Tammy Duckworth will soon become the newest senator from Illinois. The Iraq War veteran, who lost both knees in 2004, has been in the House of Representatives since 2013.


Minnesota elected the country's first Somali-American legislator.

Ilhan Omar
photo: Twitter/Okayplayer

Ilhan Omar has won the state representative race in Minnesota. She's now America's first Somali-American legislator.

"Tonight, we are celebrating this win, our win," she said after winning. "But our work won't stop. We will continue to build a more prosperous and equitable district — state, and nation — where each and every one of us has opportunities to thrive and move forward together."


Adriano Espaillat is now the first formerly undocumented immigrant to win a seat in Congress.

Espaillat will represent New York's 13 congressional district when he heads to Capitol Hill in January.

"I will become the first Dominican-American to ever serve in the US Congress," Espaillat said on Tuesday, according to NBC News. "Perhaps even just as important, I will be the first member of Congress who was once undocumented as an immigrant. You take that, Donald Trump!"


Recreational marijuana blazes new trails in California, Massachusetts, and Nevada.

photo: Giphy

Recreational marijuana is now the law of the land in California, Massachusetts, and Nevada. These states join Colorado and Washington, who passed similar measures in 2012.

"This represents a monumental victory for the marijuana reform movement," Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement to The Washington Post. "With California's leadership now, the end of marijuana prohibition nationally, and even internationally, is fast approaching."


Minimum wage will increase in four states.

NPR reports that Maine, Arizona, Colorado, and Washington all voted to increase the minimum wage to at least $12 an hour by 2020. Washington approved a raise to $13.50 an hour by 2020 and Colorado called for $12 by 2020, depending on the cost of living.


After 23 years of racist service, Joe Arpaio is no longer the sheriff of Maricopa County.

Joe Arpaio is facing jail time for criminal contempt of court after he refused to end unconstitutional immigration patrols in Arizona. At least won't be the sheriff of Maricopa County anymore.

Arpaio, a Republican, lost to Democrat Paul Penzone by double digits, according to The Los Angeles Times.