Donald Trump’s election to the White House shocked pollsters, the media and millions of people around the world.
But while the world comes to terms with the fact that a man who bragged that his celebrity status allowed him to grab a woman “by the pussy”, there are still reasons to celebrate the historic votes of American people last night.
From marijuana to the election of a Muslim refugee, we take a look at some of the progressive people and policies that people voted for on Tuesday.
Kelly via Getty Images
On Tuesday Americans in California, Massachusetts and Nevada voted to legalise cannabis for recreational use for adults.
The legalisation movement is hailing the vote as its most significant accomplishment since the first states legalised it four years ago.
The success of the proposition will affect tens of millions of people living in those states. The move means that cannabis will be taxed and regulated like alcohol rather than treated it like a criminal enterprise.
These states join Colorado and Washington state, which voted to legalise weed in 2012, and Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C.
STEPHEN MATUREN via Getty Images
Ilhan Omar has become the first Somali-American Muslim woman to hold public office.
In the state House of Representatives she will represent a diverse, liberal district that encompasses most of Minneapolis.
Omar, 34, emigrated to the US when she was 12 years old. Born in Somalia, she spent four years in a refugee camp before moving to the US.
In the past she has spoken of her disappointment at encountering rampant racial and economic inequality and religious intolerance in the US.
“It is the land of liberty and justice for all, but we have to work for it,” Omar told The Huffington Post last month.
“Our democracy is great, but it’s fragile. It’s come through a lot of progress, and we need to continue that progress to make it actually ‘justice for all.’”
Catherine Cortez Masto became the first ever Latina to be elected to the Senate.
Democrat Masto defeated incumbent Joe Heck to secure the Nevada seat.
Masto is a former attorney general of Nevada and the daughter of a Mexican immigrant.
arto_canon via Getty Images
San Francisco passed a so-called soda tax proposal and the Northern California cities of Oakland and Albany were set to approve
similar measures early Wednesday.
The new laws strengthened the Bay Area’s role as a leader in regulating residents’ consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.
The measures proposed a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on the distribution of most sugar-sweetened beverages.
Exemptions will be made for diet sodas, 100% fruit or vegetable drinks, alcoholic and milk beverages, infant formula and medical-use drinks.
Tuesday night saw Pramila Jayapal being elected to Congress,
meaning she becomes the first Indian-American woman to hold a seat in the US House of Representatives.
Jayapal defeated fellow Democrat Brady Walkinshaw with 57% of the vote to secure her spot in the House.
Born in India, Jayapal immigrated to the US when she was 16 years old.
Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which spawned hate crimes and discrimination against Arab, Muslim and South Asian Americans, Jayapal founded an organisation called Hate Free Zone, later rebranded as OneAmerica.
DmyTo via Getty Images
Californians have voted to pass a sweeping gun control measure
that will bolster the state’s already substantial restrictions on firearms and ammunition.
The initiative will implement a slew of new gun regulations intended to help prevent mass shootings.
The measure will ban possession of large-capacity magazines, mandates background checks and permits for ammunition purchases.
It also requires individuals and businesses to report lost or stolen firearms, and makes all firearm thefts felonies regardless of the value of the weapon.
The measure will also set up a process for courts to remove guns from people convicted of certain crimes.
Thierry Dosogne via Getty Images
Voters in the the western US state approved a ballot measure on Tuesday that will give some terminally ill patients the option to seek life-ending medication from a doctor.
Under the initiative two physicians must agree that an adult has a terminal illness, has six months or less to live and is mentally competent.
A doctor may then prescribe an approved patient the drug secobarbital, a prescription sleeping aid medication that can cause death in higher doses, which the patient must self-administer.
The measure is expected to go into effect next month.
Colorado will become the sixth state to give individuals similar end-of-life options.
California, Montana, Oregon, Vermont and Washington have all passed “right-to-die” or “death with dignity” laws.
Oregon became the first state to elect an openly LGBT governor on Tuesday. Kate Brown, who is bisexual, was outed by an Oregon newspaper in 1995.
She has spoken to The Huffington Post
in the past about her sexual orientation being a topic of discussion.
“It doesn’t bother me ... because what I think is really important is that kids see role models,” Brown she said in October.
“You can’t be what you can’t see.”
Congressional Quarterly via Getty Images
Stephanie Murphy became the first Vietnamese-American woman elected to Congress on Tuesday.
She defeated a Republican incumbent of 23 years in Florida.
Murphy received endorsements from President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and the Human Rights Campaign.
She immigrated to the US with her family when she was one year old.
Her parents fled communist Vietnam by boat and were rescued by the US Navy at sea.
Joe Amon via Getty Images
Early projections indicated that voters in Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington state have approved ballot initiatives to increase their state minimum wages.
In addition to raising the minimum wage, the measures in Arizona and Colorado will require businesses to provide employees with paid sick days.