This year's Nov. 5 elections ushered in many first-of-their-kind wins, including Scranton, PA and Tucson, AZ electing their first woman and first Latina woman mayor respectively. On top of unprecedented candidate victories, the election cycle marked voter support for regulations like ride-hailing fees in San Francisco and Airbnb restrictions in Jersey City, NJ.
We rounded up the top 10 first-of-their-kind victories and significant new measures that voters weighed in on this week:
Jersey City, NJ cracks down on Airbnb
Local voters approved restrictions on short term rentals due to fears of rising rent costs. The new rules will decrease Airbnb's presence in the city, according to the New York Times, signaling a major defeat for the tech company that's preparing to go public.
Portland, OR to allow the Portland Water Bureau to spend emergency aid on other cities
The Portland, OR Water Bureau can now spend ratepayer money on emergency aid for other cities, and agreed to deals for those same cities to also help Portland in a crisis situation like an earthquake.
San Francisco counting ballots for ride-hailing fees
More votes still need to be counted, but by Friday the city will know if Proposition D, which would use fees on ride-hailing trips to fund public transit, has passed. So far, it looks to be squeaking through.
New York City takes on ranked-choice voting
New York City voted to adopt rank-choice voting, a system that allows voters to rank their top five picks as opposed to selecting just one candidate. Voters can now use ranked-choice voting in primary and special elections starting in 2021.
Harris Country, TX supports $3.5B bond to support public transit
Local voters in Harris County, TX, which includes Houston, showed their support for a bond measure that will help expand public transit in the city's metropolitan area, with 68% of voters in favor of the measure, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
Amazon-backed campaign to elect Seattle City Council members gains some traction
The tech giant was behind an effort to add more "business-friendly" city council members, according to GeekWire. The company's campaign wasn't a total success, with many more progressive candidates ahead of their Amazon-backed counterparts. These results, however, are subject to change and the next voting round will be reported next week.
Scranton, PA votes for the city's first woman mayor
The city of Scranton, PA elected its first woman mayor, Paige Cognetti. A native Oregonian, she will also be Scranton's first mayor-elect to give birth — she’s due in December.
Tucson, AZ votes for the city's first Latina woman mayor
Tucson, AZ Mayor-elect Regina Romero plans to put climate change at the forefront of her tenure as her mayor, focusing on water, mobility and equity for residents, she told Smart Cities Dive earlier this year. Romero won nearly 56% of the vote in a three-way race.
San Francisco's first black woman mayor wins reelection
Mayor London Breed was reelected following her special election win last year. Breed was raised in the city's public housing and her leadership has emphasized equity and affordable housing.
Elkhart, IN elects first black mayor
Democrat Rod Roberson will serve as the city's first black mayor, defeating Republican opponent and former Mayor Dave Miller.