It is significant to recognize after an election that whenever there are wins, there are losses. Even though there were poignant victories in the face of difficult odds, there are still some who woke up to the notion of having lost faith in their communities. No matter the demographic, every social unit has people who disagree, and the strongest communities are built with a variety of opinions and perspectives. History can be preserved while inequity can diminish, but it is the responsibility of the players to ensure the right outcomes.
In Richmond, California, the area had been victims of environmental racism for decades and due to a previous lack of investment, seemed slated to remain that way. There were few jobs, and no one was looking to move into the area, which had a terrible reputation for crime. To make matters worse, parts of the community fell on a floodplain, which made it difficult to appropriately plan for extreme weather. Many people were concerned about the future of the city.
Many people, that is, who were not the several community activists and the nonprofits who collaborated to create green space for everyone. Even though an oil company is still in operation, the local government and the constituents made a commitment to sustainable development, and more people are able to enjoy the area without having to maintain a personal vehicle. Because of the contamination in the ground, residents fought for cleanup and green infill for the benefit of all neighborhoods, and were able to collaborate with private industry as well.
No one knows about the politics of who came up with which idea, and no one knows how long the city will remain on the upswing. What is known is that there was a problem for everyone, and instead of focusing on how they did not agree, the electorate sought commonalities that would make the area a better place for everyone. Such stories are possible, but everyone is required to engage with every member of a community. Let Richmond be an example as the country moves forward after the election season.