Lots of congratulations are in order:
Congratulations to Democrats winning the House of Representatives last night.
Congratulations to Senator Tim Kaine and Congressman Don Beyer.
Congratulations to Virginia's New Members-Elect of Congress Jennifer Wexton, Abigail Spanberger, and Elaine Luria.
Congratulations to Alexandria Mayor-Elect Justin Wilson and Vice-Mayor Elect Elizabeth Bennett-Parker.
Congratulations to Alexandria's next City Council Members: Canek Aguirre, John Chapman, Amy Jackson, Del Pepper, and Mo Seifeldein.
Congratulations to Alexandria's next School Board: Meagan Alderton, Cindy Anderson, Ramee Gentry, Jacinta Greene, Margaret Lorber, Veronica Nolan, Michelle Rief, Christopher Suarez, and Heather Thornton.
Congratulations to Arlington County Board Member-Elect Matt de Ferranti.
Congratulations to Arlington School Board Member Barbara Kanninen on her re-election.
And congratulations to you for voting in such great numbers in the rain.
Despite it all, I know we had heartbreaks in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Indiana, North Dakota, Tennessee, and Missouri.
All red states.
But it still hurts.
Let's face it.
It's going to be a long hard climb out of the depths
Of despair and lawlessness, fear-mongering, racism,
Hatred, misogyny, conspiracy theories, and lies of Trumpism.
But every tall, scary ladder is scaled only after stepping on that first rung,
Taking a deep breath,
And beginning the climb.
The first rung was scaled in 2017. Virginia led the way.
We surprised the nation by transforming the House of Delegates from a 66-34 Republican majority to virtual parity,
Only losing in a single race on a tie vote and the drawing of the wrong lot.
Even so, that brought us victories like Medicaid Expansion, Metro funding, medical marijuana legalization, and some criminal justice reform.
The next rung was scaled last night. And again Virginia led the way, changing our Congressional delegation from 4-7 to 7-4.
We also won several important Governorships in Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado (first openly gay Governor!), and even Kansas.
And more Gubernatorial flips in Illinois, New Mexico, Nevada, and Maine.
From 15 states to 23 states,
the vast majority of the American People will live under a Democratic Governor now.
And in barely reported news that really pleases me, Democrats flipped at least 350 state legislative seats,
flipping at least seven chambers (say goodbye to the Republican New York Senate since World War II!),
We created six more states entirely governed by Democrats,
and ended two Republican supermajorities in the important states of Michigan and North Carolina.
We are paving the way to dramatically reducing gerrymandering in the House of Representatives by 2021.
And despite the heartache of some close races in Florida last night, Floridians did manage to finally end Jim Crow in that State by allowing ex-felons to vote for the first time since that proposal was purposely used to disenfranchise the newly-freed slaves in 1865.
We have reached the end of the beginning.
We are ready to take that next step.
In 2018* and 2019, Virginia will again lead the way,
scaling the most important rung in our Commonwealth's long history.
With your help, we will transform the Virginia General Assembly
And give it a progressive majority for the first time in the 150 years since Reconstruction.
And this time, it won't require Union troops to do it. All it will take is two more delegates and one more senator. (Of course, it wouldn't hurt to overachieve this goal and give us a cushion of protection...6-7 delegate seats and 3-4 senate seats seems very reasonably achievable).
We can help this nation, rung by rung, step by step, climb out of its despair into the final extirpation of Trumpism in 2020.
Rest today, my friends.
And then gear up.
Because Election Day 2019 is just 363 days away.
We the People are the American Majority.
We will one day defeat hatred, fear, and lies.
The future is ours.
So long as we never give up.
The only way to fail is to stop trying.
And with grim determination, we step confidently on the rung we just climbed and reach out toward the one above us.
We haven't fully succeeded yet.
But last night brought us one step closer to heaven.
We shall overcome someday.