Andrea Jenkins has become the first transgender woman of colour elected in the US
Andrea Jenkins has become the first trans person of colour elected to any office in the US.
The Democrat won by a landslide, attracting more than 73% of the first-choice votes in Minneapolis’s Eighth Ward to give her a place on the City Council.
Her victory came on the same night that Danica Roem became the first ever trans person to be elected as a state official in the US by beating anti-LGBT incumbent Bob Marshall.
Jenkins, who was previously a senior policy aide to departing Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden, beat three other candidates.
The history-maker, who has 25 years of public service, said during the campaign that her “vision for Minneapolis is to bring my commitment to leadership, access and equity for all people.”
Jenkins, a grandmother as well as an award-winning poet, writer and performer, said she knew “the power of being in the room.
“And when particularly African-American trans women are in the room, the dialogue changes.
“When people do try to enact policies that are going to be detrimental to these communities, I can be that voice to derail that, to stop that, to resist.”
She added: “Representation is power – and we need more of it.”
Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, president of the Victory Fund, a political action committee dedicated to increasing the number of openly LGBT public officials, said it was a landmark win.
“Andrea Jenkins shattered a glass ceiling tonight – becoming the first out trans woman ever elected to the city council of a major U.S. city,” she said.
“Andrea ran on improving the lives of constituents in her ward, but the significance of her victory for the trans equality movement is undeniable.
“Americans are growing increasingly aware of trans equality and people, and this win will surely inspire other trans people to run for office and further inclusion in their communities.”
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 New York mayoral race in a landslide.
Democrats also won at least 14 more seats in the Virginia House of Delegates and an important seat in Washington which secures full Democratic control of the state government.
Meanwhile, trans man Phillipe Cunningham is locked in a tight race for Minneapolis city council president.
Cunningham lost the first round by 119 votes, but has been selected by hundreds more people on second choice ballots.
On a historic night for trans representation in the US, 33-year-old Tyler Titus became the first trans person elected in Pennsylvania, as he won a place on the Erie School Board.
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And Lisa Middleton became the first trans person to be elected to a political office in California, winning a place on the Palm Springs City Council.
Middleton said: “Another glass ceiling has been broken.
“For young people who are transgender all over the United States, they are going to have examples for what they can do,” she told local outlet KMIR.
Watch Andrea Jenkins be awesome here:
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