I arrived in London to visit my good friend and former roommate, Sarah. She just completed a Masters in Policy Research from the London School of Economics, and for her part time job had been working on a website called The State of The States. (http://thestateofthestates.org/) It is an impeccably researched and well designed site that collects all the data and statistics about every state and its legislature. From who holds each office, and the percentage of women or people of color in office, to policy updates, to the number of homeless, and the percent of uninsured, to a synopsis of the state economy, and all the way to the state motto and flower. It's comprehensive and awesome.
The website was running a live blog the night of the US midterm elections, which occurred a few days after I got in. We both knew how monumental this election was, and I needed to be around other people who cared about the outcome of a US election and it's greater implications. So I joined Sarah in the office for the night. London is 5 hours ahead of East Coast Time, and 8 ahead of the West Coast, which meant that we stayed until 5 in the morning. There was a lot of pizza, a little bit of wine on my part, and a fair bit of rollercoastering as the night went on. Florida gave us all a good scare and made us nervous for the outcome as a whole. But we focused on all the exciting firsts that were happening, from the youngest women elected to Congress, to the first Muslim and Native American women elected to Congress, to the first openly gay man elected governor of any state. They were things to keep us optimistic as we anxiously watched the TV in the corner show how the distribution of power in the House and Senate was looking. Then the networks started calling it: that the House would go to the Democrats. Everyone in the office was relieved and elated. Finally there could be checks on the current White House. The future looked a small bit brighter, and we could go back to sleep at Sarah's a little less stressed.
kaitlin k walsh
Adventurer armed with a camera.