A Day of Firsts for LGBTQ Candidates, and the Anniversary of “Georgia on My Mind”

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Eighty-nine years ago today, Louis Armstrong recorded “Georgia on My Mind.” Counting in Georgia continues as I write this, and a listener asks, “What date did Louis record ‘I’ve Got My Fingers Crossed’?” Answer: November 21, two weeks from now. I heard last night on the radio a back-to-back set of “Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe” by Ella Fitzgerald, “Good for Nothin’ Joe” by Lena Horn, and “Hold ’Em Joe” by Harry Belafonte. “Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix was missing. I don’t endorse candidates or radio stations, but I endorse music and justice; while we wait, Armstrong is here, Fitzgerald here, Horn here, Belafonte here, Hendrix here, and good news here:

Earth’s people. Nevada voted to require half of all energy to come from renewable sources in 10 years. The state is also the first to repeal a same-sex marriage ban in its constitution.

Path to power. Ohio welcomes its first woman and LGBTQ person as sheriff in the history of Hamilton County. “My role,” Charmaine McGuffey said, “is to be an example of what you can accomplish as an LGBT person because there’s a lot of discrimination out there.” 28-year-old Adrian Tam becomes Hawaii’s only declared LGBTQ elected official in the statehouse, beating a leader of the Proud Boys, the violent far-right group that includes white supremacists. And in Oklahoma, 27-year-old Mauree Turner becomes the country’s highest-ranking nonbinary lawmaker.

Naming rights. Rhode Island has removed the word “Plantations” from its official name. Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is now just Rhode Island. When the name was adopted in the 17th century, the word didn’t refer specifically to a place where people were enslaved locally, but 53 percent of voters approved the switch, recognizing the role the state played in the transatlantic trade.

Moons ago. If the planet is wearing you down, remember that NASA announced last week the discovery of water on the moon’s sunlit surface. When safe travel returns, Recharge party on the moon, your treat. Mother Jones is reader-supported; if you can, support us and I’ll look into a 2021 moon Recharge. Until then, keep Georgia on your mind, and keep ideas coming at recharge@motherjones.com.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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