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Ferguson activist Cori Bush is making history as the first Black woman to represent Missouri in Congress. Bush, a Democrat, beat out Republican Anthony Rogers and Libertarian Alex Furman in Tuesday’s (Nov. 3) election.
“Mike Brown was murdered 2,278 days ago. We took to the streets for more than 400 days in protest,” Bush tweeted on election night. “Today, we take this fight for Black Lives from the streets of Ferguson to the halls of Congress. We will get justice.”
The historic victory came 52 years after Shirley Chisholm became the first Black woman elected to Congress. “I shouldn’t be the first,” noted Bush in another tweet. “But I am honored to carry this responsibility.”
The First. pic.twitter.com/h3o0GxeFLR
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) November 4, 2020
A nurse, pastor, single mother and “lifelong St. Louisan,” 44-year-old Bush, who will be sworn in at the top of the year, previously ran for a Senate seat in 2016 and 2018. Her Congressional journey was chronicled in the Netflix documentary Knock Down the House.
And she's not alone in making political history during this year's election. Aside from Baltimore electing its youngest mayor ever, a record 298 women ran for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Of the nearly 300 candidates, 115 identified as Black, Latina, or Native American.
Other pioneering political wins included Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones becoming the first openly gay and openly gay Afro-Latino members of Congress, and Sarah McBride, who became the first trans U.S. Senator.
The voters have spoken. Politician Brandon Scott won his mayoral bid on Tuesday (Nov. 3) becoming the youngest mayor (in more than a century), and youngest Black mayor, to hold office in the city.
"I see this as the opportunity for rebirth,” Scott, 36, told Baltimore’s WBAL-TV 11 News following the big win. “The rebirth is going to come when we all have to work together each and every day and do that tough work to make Baltimore a better place.
“I am not the savior,” he continued. “We have to work together as a city unified to make Baltimore better. One person cannot fix things. [These] problems have existed longer than I been alive.”
@CouncilPresBMS addresses the crowd after receiving the concession call from Bob Wallace in the race for #BaltimoreMayor. Click link for full video. #Election2020 #BaltimoreCityVoteshttps://t.co/xkzI2Lvv2p pic.twitter.com/Bd1YgzeWIT
— FOX Baltimore (@FOXBaltimore) November 4, 2020
Nabbing just over 71% of the vote, Scott bested opponent Bob Wallace who trailed with 20.11%. Wallace called Brandon to concede late Tuesday.
The historic election follows the resignation of former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh who stepped down last year amid a book scandal. Jack Young took over as an interim mayor.
Taking to Twitter on Wednesday (Nov. 4), Scott thanked everyone who helped secure the win. “I’m proud, energized and humbled by your [belief] in me and what we can accomplish together,” he tweeted. “We could not have made it without your support.”
From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank everyone who made calls, sent texts, put up signs & shared information with friends/family. I’m proud, energized and humbled by your belief in me and what we can accomplish together. We could not have made it here without your support. pic.twitter.com/VvSHCLpAmc
— Brandon M. Scott (@CouncilPresBMS) November 4, 2020
Scott, who is currently Baltimore’s City Council President, called winning the election “the honor of a lifetime,” and vowed to lead fellow Baltimore residents in embarking on a “new way forward for our city.”
Busta Rhymes hit up the Apollo Theater to spread a little “joy” to voters on Election Day. The 48-year-old rapper, who is promoting his latest album Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God, joined Funk Master Flex for a pop-up show in Harlem on Tuesday (Nov. 3).
The live performances were apart of Joy to the Polls, a nonpartisan movement spearheaded by the Election Defenders — a group of volunteers that include community organizers, and faith leaders — to help end voter suppression.
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PULL UP AND RIDE OUT WITH IS RIGHT NOW!!! @funkflex & The Dragon 🐉 WE’RE ABOUT TO GET BUSY AT THE POLLING SITE IN HARLEM AT AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION!! 👀👀👀👀IF YOU KNOW WHERE TO BE SEE YOU THERE!!! 🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯 #ELE2THEWRATHOFGODRELOADED AVAILABLE AND STREAMING EVERYWHERE RIGHT NOW WITH 4 MORE BANGERS ADDED TO THE ALBUM!!!!! THE PROPHECY IS BEING FULFILLED!!!! Click link in Bio‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️
On my way home from reporting on #Elections2020 , I ran into @BustaRhymes. Yes, THAT Busta! pic.twitter.com/R3pC8ZxD03
— Joyce Philippe (@JoyceMeetsWorld) November 3, 2020
It’s @BustaRhymes bringing #JoyToThePolls in Harlem! #ElectionDefenders pic.twitter.com/aQFgfQX3XQ
— #JoyToThePolls (@JoyToThePolls) November 3, 2020
Following a short performance, Busta shared a lengthy message on Instagram encouraging Black voters to think beyond the polls. “Salute to everyone that is doing [their] part today but what we actually have to do is much deeper than voting!!! We need to empower [ourselves] mind, body, spirit & economically, so that these politicians will have to properly negotiate with us for our dollars and our vote!!”
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TODAY ON THIS ELECTION DAY I STAND WITH MY PEOPLE AND FOR MY PEOPLE!!! SALUTE TO EVERYONE THAT IS DOING THERE PART TODAY BUT WHAT WE ACTUALLY HAVE TO DO IS MUCH DEEPER THAN VOTING!!! WE NEED TO EMPOWER OURSELF MIND, BODY, SPIRIT & ECONOMICALLY SO THAT THESE POLITICIANS WILL HAVE TO PROPERLY NEGOTIATE WITH US FOR OUR DOLLARS AND OUR VOTE!! WE ARE TRULY LIVING IN THE EYE OF THE STORM OF A REAL EXTINCTION LEVEL EVENT WHEN IT COMES TO OUR PEOPLE AND ALL THE SHIT THAT THEY HAVE BEEN TRYING TO DO TO US SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME!! BE GREAT MY BEAUTIFUL, POWERFUL & RESILIENT BLACK PEOPLE AND LET’S MAKE SURE THEY FEEL THE WRATH OF GOD!! #ELE2THEWRATHOFGODRELOADED AVAILABLE AND STREAMING EVERYWHERE RIGHT NOW!!! Click link in Bio ‼️‼️‼️‼️ HARLEM I SALUTE Y’ALL!! Salute @funkflex & @joejaxson @spliffstar_mrlewis @djscratchator
Joy to the Polls urges voters to stay in line by turning voting into a celebration with music and dancing at polling locations around the country. Offset and Big Daddy Kane were among the rappers who participated in the grassroots movement, which includes Spotify playlists curated by Aloe Blacc, Black Thought, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Lin-Manuel Miranda, QuestLove, and more.
“In the face of a global pandemic, threats of violence and long lines designed to suppress the vote, the people are fighting back with joy,” Joy to the Polls creator and Election Defenders campaign manager, Nelini Stamp, told BET.com. “Together, we will make voting more accessible for all.”