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Good News: Nevada Protects Same-Sex Marriage, Kim Ng Makes MLB History, + More

By Manna Zel

This month in the world of Good News, Kim Ng made history as Major League Baseball’s first woman + East Asian American general manager, young voters in Georgia turned out in the highest numbers nationwide, and the American Medical Association recognized racism as a threat to public health and decided to mitigate it by adopting anti-racist policies.

November 5: Nevada becomes first state to protect same-sex marriage in its constitution (Los Angeles Times)

At the polls, Nevada voters were asked if they supported a constitutional amendment that would validate marriage as being “between couples, regardless of gender,” and they did—passing the amendment with over 60% of the vote and repealing a 2002 block against same-sex marriage. Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, finds the 60% of the vote heartening: 

“The incredibly high margin really shows how much our country has changed on the issue,” says Minter, according to the Los Angeles Times.

November 6: How Georgia Pulled Off Unprecedented Youth Voter Turnout (TIME)

According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, young people made up 21% of Georgia’s votes in the recent general election—the highest (!) youth voter contribution in the entire country. This achievement is thanks to grassroots organizing by the New Georgia Project, Campus Vote Project, Students for 2020, and Opportunity Youth United, which worked tirelessly to help young people see themselves in politics. 

Georgia’s State Coordinator for the Campus Vote Project, Ciarra Malone, tells TIME, “These numbers are not magical. Georgia is only a battleground state right now because of the youth vote and how many young people in the Atlanta area have turned out to vote. Organizers, especially young organizers, have been working especially hard.”

November 10: Medical Experts, Not NYPD, Will Respond to 911 Mental Health Calls as Part of Pilot (NBC New York)

Beginning February 2021, a pilot program in two New York communities will dispatch a team of EMS health professionals and mental health crisis workers—rather than the NYPD—to non-violent, mental health-related 911 calls. Laura Kavanagh, First Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Fire Department, believes the pilot program will really improve mental health care for New Yorkers.

“There is a mental health crisis in this country,” Kavanagh says, according to NBC New York. “Here in New York City, part of the remedy to this crisis is how we respond to and treat the patients with mental illness.”

November 13: Miami Marlins hire Kim Ng as MLB’s first female, East Asian American general manager (NBC News)

Kim Ng has spent thirty years breaking barriers in Major League Baseball—from beginning her career as a White Sox intern, to becoming the league’s youngest-ever assistant general manager at 29, to now being the first woman + East Asian American general manager in MLB history. 

“When I got into this business, it seemed unlikely a woman would lead a major league team, but I am dogged in the pursuit of my goals,” Ng says in a statement. “My goal is now to bring championship baseball to Miami.”

November 16: American Medical Association recognizes racism as a threat to public health (ABC13)

A recent statement from the American Medical Association (AMA) has acknowledged racism as a public health threat, recognizing that racism exacerbates health inequities, and adopting a new set of policies and directions to become more anti-racist

“Without systemic and structural-level change, health inequities will continue to exist, and the overall health of the nation will suffer,” says AMA Board Member Willarda V. Edwards, MD, MBA. “As physicians and leaders in medicine, we are committed to optimal health for all, and are working to ensure all people and communities reach their full health potential. Declaring racism as an urgent public health threat is a step in the right direction toward advancing equity in medicine and public health, while creating pathways for truth, healing, and reconciliation.”