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

Faith Castro
November 9, 2017

Observers, though, say the election of Cunningham and Jenkins was part of a wave of transgender candidates across the country.

Jenkins was previously a policy aide to the Minneapolis City Council's Vice President Elizabeth Glidden and worked to revitalize poor neighborhoods. She says she was afraid that racism and transphobia would work against her, "and my community absolutely proved me wrong". She ran on a platform of raising the minimum wage and making housing affordable.

Vicroty Fund president and CEO Aisha C. Moodie-Mills released this statement: "Andrea Jenkins shattered a glass ceiling tonight - becoming the first out trans woman ever elected to the city council of a major US city".

Andrea Jenkins easily won the race for a south Minneapolis seat Tuesday with roughly 73 per cent of the vote. Jenkins's election to the City Council after so many years of serving Minneapolis is a "natural transition", said Cecilia Chung, senior director of strategic projects at the Transgender Law Center.

Jenkins, 56, said she believes her and Roem's victories are proof numerous nation's communities won't succumb to hatred, bigotry or transphobia - and are willing to fight for social justice and equality for all minority groups.

Jenkins, who has been elected to the Minneapolis City Council, became the second openly transgender candidate to win a race Tuesday night. "We don't just want a seat at the table, we want to set the table", according to Fox 9 news.

The November 2017 elections turned out to be an historic night for the LGBT community and its allies, not to mention progressives in general.

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Jenkins, who is also an award-winning poet, writer, and performance artist, makes history alongside Danica Roem, a transgender woman who won a seat in Virginia's legislature. "And it really is a milestone for the LGBTQ community".

The 65-year-old candidate lives in Palm Springs with her wife Cheryl, a place she considers more trans-friendly than other areas of the US where transgender politicians are running.

Jenkins wasn't the only black transgender person running for a seat on the Minneapolis City Council.

Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, president and CEO of Victory Fund, declared: "Tonight was about fighting back - an unprecedented number of brilliant trans candidates asking for the votes of tens of thousands of Americans, and getting them".

Lisa Middleton became the first transgender person elected to a non-judicial office in California.

Tyler Titus, elected to the Erie, Penn., School Board, is the first openly trans person ever elected in Pennsylvania.

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