Activist Andrea Marra running to be first trans elected official in New York
Activist Andrea Marra has announced that she is running for a seat in the New York Senate, and if she wins she will be the first trans woman to be elected in the state.
She would also be the first Asian American elected to the New York State Senate if her bid is successful.
Marra is taking on current seat holder, Democrat José Peralta, to be a representative in District 13 in the state, meaning that she will represent Queens, Astoria and Jackson Heights – all neighbourhoods in New York City.
Speaking about her challenge to the candidacy, Marra explained that she hoped to replace Peralta because he is a “turncoat”.
Peralta is one of the few Democrats who are part of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), a group which supports Republican leadership in the Senate.
“We need new, honest leadership to protect and expand affordable housing; modernise the broken MTA; deliver the funding our schools need and deserve; and invest in New York’s overburdened public hospitals,” she said.
Marra has led a long career in activism for LGBTQ causes.
Prior to launching her bid for the seat, she was a senior media strategist at GLAAD, the LGBT media monitoring organisation.
She also worked with GLSEN, an LGBT education network which campaigns against discrimination, harassment and bullying in schools.
Marra, who was adopted from South Korea, grew up in New York and moved to Queens nearly 10 years ago.
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She relics “the authenticity and experiences of the people” in the area and it is why she calls the area home.
She hopes to be able to give back to the community by representing the minorities living in the district, with 60 percent of residents being of immigrant origin and many identifying within the LGBTQ realm.
“In this dangerous Trump era, Queens needs a driven and experienced state senator who will work alongside the community to improve our quality of life and ensure New York truly becomes a progressive and Democratic state.
“As my campaign advances I look forward to meeting more of my neighbours, listening to their specific concerns and engaging a network of donors excited to support my candidacy,” Marra added.