For progressive minded people the election was a dark day but the election results were not all bleak. There were a few positive results from the election which I'll provide below. Let's try to stay focused as we go forward on how we are going to make a difference, who is doing good and really look for progress instead of continuting to focus so much on the Bush record. I highly doubt it will improve but heres to hope. My guess is that it's only going to get uglier and the only way we can make a difference is to speak out, know the facts and keep driving forward. Now the good news...
ENVIRONMENT: Several states voted for the environment over industry interests on a variety of ballot measures. Colorado voted for a " five-fold increase of the state's use of renewable energy (http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6407813/) ," passing an amendment requiring public utilities to generate 10 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2015. In Washington, 69 percent (http://www.protectwashington.org/protect_washington/index.php) voted for Initiative 297 (http://www.protectwashington.org/protect_washington/index.php) , limiting nuclear waste dumping and requiring better clean-up efforts in the state. And in Montana, voters decisively defeated Amendment I-147 (http://www.nocyanide.org/) , which would have repealed a ban on cyanide use in open pit mining.
EDUCATION: In Nevada, voters affirmed a commitment to funding education by passing Question 1, which will "require lawmakers to fund kindergarten through 12th-grade education (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2004/11/03/politics0642EST0129.DTL) before other state programs." North Carolina decided to put civil fine money (http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=39328) towards education and mandated a more equitable distribution among school districts. Arkansas voted to do the same with lottery revenue.
TAXES: In Maine, voters overwhelmingly defeated Amendment 1, which would have " capped property taxes at 1 percent of valuation (http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/news/state/041104baldacci.shtml) ." The measure would have hamstrung cities and towns, stripping their authority (http://news.mainetoday.com/indepth/taxreform/041024taxanalysis.shtml) to collect the revenue they need to fund crucial Maine programs.
STEM CELL RESEARCH: In California, voters approved a proposition "that will make $3 billion in state funds available (http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/business/biotech/20041104-9999-1b4stems.html) over the next decade for stem cell research." The funding for research in California will "dwarf" federal funding levels (http://www.iht.com/articles/2004/11/04/news/stem.html) under the Bush administration, turning the state into the "likely world center" for stem cell research.