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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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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