Andrea Jenkins was elected to the Minneapolis City Council yesterday with 73 percent of the vote, proving that hate is still not the bottom line, even in Trump's America.
Jenkins is a poet, activist, and historian who is passionate about social issues. She is a gender advocate who has spent the past 12 years working for different council members. She won a 2011 Bush Fellowship to work on transgender issues, and currently curates the Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota. Her goal is to create records of the experiences of transgender and gender non-conforming people for historians.
“One of the reasons we take that approach is because transgender people have been undercover for so long. They didn’t have… artifacts and factual records,” she said. “We had to go out and collect those stories, digitize them and make them available online.”
Jenkins wasn’t the only black transgender person running for a seat on the Minneapolis City Council. Phillipe Cunningham, a transgender man, ran in the Fourth Ward race. However, Jenkins’s election to the City Council after so many years of serving Minneapolis was a natural transition.
She joins fellow transgender politician Danica Roem in victory. Roem is poised to be the first openly transgender person elected and seated in a state legislature in the country for the state of Virginia. What makes her victory so sweet is that she beat out 13-term Republican incumbent who proudly refers to himself as "chief homophobe." He also introduced a “bathroom bill” earlier this year that would have restricted where trans people can use the bathroom.
56-year-old Jenkins believes that these victories are a sign that the majority of people aren't here for bigotry and hatred.
“Transgender people have been here forever, and black transgender people have been here forever,” Jenkins told The Post after her election night win. “I’m really proud to have achieved that status, and I look forward to more trans people joining me in elected office, and all other kinds of leadership roles in our society.”