↑ City Council
Out with the old, in with the new. The 15-member City Council will have eight new representatives come January, the biggest turnover since 2003, according to The Sun. And it is a youth movement, too, with victors Shannon Sneed (13th District), Zeke Cohen (1st District), Ryan Dorsey (3rd District), Kristerfer Burnett (8th District), and John T. Bullock (9th District) all in their 30s—not to mention Isaac "Yitzy" Schleifer (5th District), who is 27. As The Sun put it, "[t]he newcomers are pledging to push a more liberal agenda than their predecessors," meaning Baltimore City now has a better shot at a $15-an-hour minimum wage and substantial audits of city government. Hopefully the new council members take a similar reform-minded approach to issues such as community policing, economic development, and housing, just to name a few. The new-look City Council is one of the few things giving us hope for the future.
←→ Catherine Pugh
Despite the buzz surrounding Green party candidate Joshua Harris and a write-in campaign from former Mayor Sheila Dixon, Baltimore did what it has done for decades and rubber-stamped the results of the Democratic primary on Election Day. We weren't too thrilled with Pugh's apparent disappearing act after the primary, including her failure to debate the aforementioned challengers and Republican Alan Walden. But we will be cautiously optimistic watch for some positive change here in Baltimore. During a press conference to announce her transition team, Pugh promised one such change, saying "We need a different housing department for the city of Baltimore." Sending Paul Graziano packing would be a first step in the right direction.
←→ The Green Party
Joshua Harris isn't our next mayor. Connor Meek isn't president of City Council, and none of the Green party candidates won City Council races, either. But Harris ran an organized and public campaign, and while 13 percent of the vote isn't going to get him the top job, it looks like this is just the beginning of his career in local politics. And unlike the national Greens, run by Jill Stein, who is by all accounts a complete moron, we're really rooting for Greens on a local level. Still, what now? The Greens have a steep hill to climb if they want to be in a position of real power—the Baltimore Sun reports that Democrats outnumber the Greens by more than 200 to 1 in the city. But if there's any place where the Greens could emerge as a viable alternative, it's Baltimore where the Republican pull is nil.
↓ Del. Joe Cluster
Republican Joe Cluster thinks that Baltimore County Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance's decision to retweet a statement of support for minority students means that Dance doesn't also support the county's white students. As reports of post-election incidents fueled by hate rise all across the country, we need more of what Dance is offering and way less of what Cluster is trying to dish out. We're better than this, folks. Or, at least, we should be.
↓ The American Experiment
A man who, at various times before and during the campaign, has shown himself to be a bigoted, misogynistic, fascist blow-hard has been deemed fit to hold the highest office in the land. A charlatan businessman who came from wealth and reached the upper echelon of earners—as well as bankruptcy court—somehow convinced the working class and white people in general that he was their champion, their protector from the very societal forces and economic instruments that made Donald J. Trump into Donald J. Trump. In a close vote wherein Trump lost the popular vote, his election is the will of the mostly rural, mostly white, and largely racist portion of the American populace. All of the gains, be they large or small, be it the Affordable Care Act, LGBTQ rights, or the Black Lives Matter movement, of the Obama years now hang in the balance as a man celebrated by the Ku Klux Klan and David Duke heads to the White House. Many people, particularly people of color, LGBTQ people, and anyone with a uterus, are rightly terrified of what will come next. The only thing left to do is fight back.