Andrea Jenkins, an openly trans woman of colour, won a Minneapolis City Council seat on Tuesday night.
Her election, along with Virginia’s Danica Roem, is historic: both women became the first openly trans people to win publicly elected positions.
Jenkins has 25 years of public service experience under her belt. Before she was elected to Ward 8’s city council, Jenkins was a policy aide to two former city council members.
She’s also an award-winning poet and author. Sara McBride, the press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, celebrated Jenkins’ win on Twitter:
More than 72% of voters picked her as their first choice for the city council position.
During the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund’s annual brunch in D.C. in May, Jenkins said her potential victory would be a strong signal to transgender people everywhere.
“Trans people across the nation are under attack from people who misunderstand us, or worse, don’t want to understand us, and I plan to be a strong voice who can defend our community and advocate on its behalf,” Jenkins said.
Another transgender candidate running for Minneapolis City Council, Phillipe Cunningham, came up short in his bid to represent Ward 8 on the body. Had he succeeded, he would have been the first transgender man to win election to public office anywhere in the United States.