It already feels cliche to say, but 2020 — what a year. For so many, it’s been filled with grief, pain and unexpected hardship. But as with all extended stretches of time, there are some glimmers of good shining through the gloom.
For The 19th, 2020 will always be tied in that Gordian knot of complex human emotion. This is the year we launched, the year we built the news organization we wanted to see. This was also the year we endured a novel coronavirus that completely changed the lives of each of us, our loved ones and the communities we cover.
This year also saw a racial reckoning more intense than any, arguably, since the civil rights era.The 19th, as nascent as we are, took on the responsibility of reporting on all of these issues.
Here are some of our most-read stories since we launched in August:
- America’s first female recession. Double-digit unemployment. Increased hours of child care. Lost hours and benefits. In three months, women lost a decade’s worth of economic advancement. How long will it take to catch back up? (August 2)
- Kamala Harris is a complicated choice for some LGBTQ+ people. She is among the earliest prominent politicians to back marriage equality, but Harris’ record on trans rights has led some LGBTQ+ voters to pause. (August 13)
- Women in President Trump’s White House earn 69 cents for every $1 paid to male staff. The gender pay gap is wider than the national pay gap and wider than the gap in the Obama White House. (September 17)
- Supreme Court justices set stage to end marriage equality. Justices suggest marriage equality will be on the chopping block as the Senate aims to confirm Amy Coney Barrett. (October 5)
- Sarah McBride elected as first openly transgender state senator. At least 16 openly transgender candidates for statehouse seats are on the November ballot. (November 3)
- Stacey Abrams blew up Georgia’s electoral map. The voting rights activist’s hard work in registering and energizing people is paying off at one of the nation’s most pivotal moments. (November 6)
- Kamala Harris, America’s first female vice president-elect, makes history. The narrow victory of the Biden-Harris ticket delivers an unprecedented moment. (November 7)
- White women had doubts. They voted for Trump anyway. They said they didn’t like the president’s rhetoric, his handling of the pandemic. But in the end, they came home. (November 7)
- Federal government to execute the first woman since 1953. Lisa Montgomery could be one of the last people put to death by the Trump administration, which revived the federal death penalty. (November 13)
- ‘I’ve had to fight to be taken seriously’: Women with Ph.Ds respond to Dr. Jill Biden column. For women in academia, the Wall Street Journal op-ed about the future first lady’s title struck a nerve. (December 14)
As a new year approaches, we are hopeful for what 2021 will bring. As an organization, we will continue to grow, hiring more reporters and editors to cover other issues important to you. We’ll report on a post-COVID world (hopefully), a new administration, the burgeoning bipartisan coalitions in state and local government, the race for 2022 (it’s never too early), and so much more.
We also hope that our readers will continue to share our stories, and more importantly, tell us what issues they are looking for us to cover. If ever there was a lesson that priorities can shift within the course of day, we learned that over the past 12 months. So, as we look ahead, it may be cliche already to say, but 2021 — what a year it will be.