Last night, i got word that Fresno County, long a bastion of conservative Republicans, had officially turned blue for the first time in a quarter century. Fresno County now officially has more registered Democrats than Republicans!
I grew up in the city of Visalia in neighboring Tulare County and am very happy and excited that our northern neighbor is a nice light blue. Having grown up as a Latino and openly gay, it wasn’t easy. At the time when i was going to school there, there was still evidence of lingering racism and much more animosity towards the LGBT community. But the fact that Fresno County is now more Democrat gives me hope that future young people in similar situations as i was will not feel as constrained by the views of their community.
Democrats have long been allies of the Latino and LGBT community and will continue to be so for a long time. With an increasing number of Democrats registering in these conservative areas, we can hope to elect more moderate and liberal Democrats who will work to protect these communities and make it easier and more comfortable for them to be proud of who they are and what they want to accomplish.
Of course, while Fresno County now has around 200+ advantage in Democrat voter registration, Tulare County is still solidly Republican both in registration and voting record. Similarly, Fresno County has still voted Republican in the last election and many before. But what this means is that the trend is upward towards a blue region. Enthusiasm and hope are never forsaken commodities.