Mpls. elects first openly trans African American woman to city council

09 November, 2017, 01:58 | Author: Jeffery Armstrong
  • Andrea Jenkins

"Wow", Jenkins said, greeting supporters and family members at her election night party at Curran's Restaurant.

She won 73 percent of the first-choice votes.

Jenkins was officially elected to the Minneapolis City Council on Tuesday, November 7th. She said she wants to make Minneapolis a better place for African Americans to live in, create more affordable housing, police accountability and economic development.

She won the same night that Danica Roem became the nation's first openly transgender state lawmaker by winning a Virginia Statehouse seat.

Her win was part of a Democratic swing across the country, with the party winning the races for governor in Virginia and New Jersey and winning the NY mayoral race in a landslide. Roem soundly defeated Bob Marshall, a longtime Republican delegate who sponsored legislation that would have restricted transgender bathroom use and who called himself the state's "chief homophobe". In an interview with The Washington Post, Jenkins talked about her pivotal victory as a black trans woman. However, she also a transgender activist and curator of the Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota, where she's interviewed nearly 200 people about their experiences as transgender and gender nonconforming people.

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Victory Fund says Jenkins is the first openly transgender woman ever elected to the city council of a major USA city.

Jenkins will take over the seat held by outgoing council member Elizabeth Glidden, who first met Jenkins when she was working for an opponent's campaign in 2005. On top of that, Marshall also referred to Roem with male pronouns and refused to debate her.

"This is about the people of the 13th District disregarding fear tactics, disregarding phobias. where we celebrate you because of who you are, not despite it", Roem said.

"We don't just want a seat at the table-we want to set the table", reads the statement.

Jenkins has more than 25 years of public service experience.

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Jenkins' background includes serving as a historian for the University of Virginia's Transgender Oral History Project.

"For trans youth across the country, Danica Roem's election isn't just a headline or even history", HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride told The New York Times.

"Having transgender people elected in public office means we'll be able to make policies and direct conversations in ways that can ensure equity and fairness and justice for transgender people", she said.

"I hope it sends a warning that trans people are strong and determined and are willing to stand up for themselves and for each other", she said.

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