Some Good News: 2020 Legislative Wins So Far

While we all anxiously await the official word on the presidency, it doesn’t seem like a half-bad time to look at some positive news. There were pieces of state, county and city legislation passed in this election that are worthy of celebration — or at least a small flicker of hope in our hearts. Many of these measures and propositions were included in our extensive 2020 LGBTQ Voter Guide, where you can also find out more about the queer candidates who ran in this election.

Please share in the comments if there are winning ballot measures that you’re excited about — not all voting results were in when this was written, and this list is by no means exhaustive! Additionally, I recognize that a “win” is subjective and you’re welcome to give us your own take in the comments too.


Prop 17 in CA

Restores the right for convicted felons on parole to vote!

San Francisco Prop I

Doubles San Francisco’s real estate transfer tax on properties of $10 million or more, for the city’s general fund.

San Francisco Prop E

While not the police abolishment being called for, this reform measure does toss out a previous mandate to keep the city’s police force staffed with 1,971 full-duty officers, which may be a step toward defunding the police.

Los Angeles Measure J

Requires that Los Angeles County spends at least 10% of its discretionary general fund on “alternatives to incarceration” programs, to keep youth out of prison and programs to support the people coming out of prison.


Prop 118

Provides 12 weeks of paid time off for workers with health emergencies and who are caring for sick relatives or newborns. This time can be extended to 16 weeks for pregnancy complications.

Prop 114

Supports a plan to reintroduce and manage grey wolves on designated lands west of the continental divide to restore natural balance to ecosystems.

Prop 115

An attempt to ban abortion in the state after 22 weeks of gestation was rejected by voters, maintaining Colorado as one of the seven states in the country with no limit on when people can have an abortion.


Amendment 2

Raises minimum wage to $15 an hour, by the year 2026, and would affect an estimated 2.5 million workers in the state.


Chicago Public Question 3

Restricts the sale and possession of firearms defined as assault weapons or magazines that can hold more than a certain number of rounds of ammunition.

DuPage County COVID-19 PPE Stockpile Advisory Referendum

Advising the county to stockpile PPE for distribution to nursing homes, first responders, health care providers and at-risk communities.


Question A

Supports the city issuing $12 million in bonds to provide funding for the Affordable Housing Program.


Question 2

Recognizes marriage between couples regardless of gender, and repeals a previous 2002 Question 2 that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.


Akron Release of Recordings from Police Body and Dashboard Cameras After Use of Force Charter Amendment

Supports requiring recordings from body/dash cams to be released to the public.


Proposition 7 in Oklahoma City

Replaces gender-specific language such as “councilman” with gender-neutral language such as “councilmember.”


Multnomah County Measure 25-214

Provides free preschool that prioritizes BIPOC students, funded by higher-income earners.

Multnomah County Measure 26-217

Again, it’s reform, not police abolishment and there is no promise that a police oversight committee will prevent further police violence or abuse, but voters did decide to put in place an independent police oversight board to investigate police records and activities, and time will tell us what this means.

Rhode Island

Question 1

Removes “Providence Plantation” from the official name of Rhode Island.


Austin Prop A 

Austin will be investing $7.1 billion dollars in an expansive mass transit rail system.

Garland Proposition A

They’re gonna build a much-needed, new library branch! Good for them.


Referendum 90

Mandatory sexual health education in public schools, starting in kindergarten, though parents can opt their kids out.

Marijuana & Drug Legislation

Legalized Recreational Marijuana: Arizona, Montana, New Jersey
Legalized Medicinal Marijuana: Mississippi
Legalized Recreational and Medicinal: South Dakota
Decriminalized personal possession of all drugs and legalized psychedelics for medical purposes: Oregon
Decriminalized psychedelics: Washington DC

Slide into these comments and to tell us what local wins are bringing you a sparkle of joy today!

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Kamala Puligandla

Kamala Puligandla lives in LA and is the writer of various autobiographical fictions. She is the distinguished recipient of her parents' leftovers and hair compliments from strangers on the street. Her first novel is forthcoming from Not A Cult. Find her work at

Kamala has written 50 articles for us.


  1. DC also legalized used of psychedelic mushrooms.

    Also, in LA we pass measure J, which diverts around 10% of LAPD’s budget towards social services & alternatives to sending people to prison. I am hopefully this would be the first step in making things better in the city.

  2. Congrats on those drug decriminalization/legalization initiatives, this will reduce a lot of harm, even if it’s only a first step.

    Also, congrats to Sarah McBride, Cori Bush, and the Squad!

  3. Colorado did not pass Prop 115, which would have instituted a 22-week ban on abortions. Colorado has one of the only medical providers in the world that performs third trimester abortions (which are almost entirely needed due to catastrophic fetal anomalies that are incompatible with life) and this ban would have been felt worldwide.

  4. AZ is mostly blue so far and passed pro-education props (in addition to rec marijuana)!!

    I didn’t know about CO being the only location for that. Go CO!

  5. our new county prosecutor ran with support from an explicitly abolitionist org (his campaign wasn’t explicitly abolitionist), and he used to clerk for RBG!

    we passed funding for affordable housing

    in michigan now a warrant is required for searching electronic data

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