Meet the United States' First Openly Trans City Council President

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Andrea Jenkins has made history yet again. Just a few years after becoming the first out Black trans woman elected to public office, Jenkins became the country’s first transgender official to lead a city council.

On Monday, Jenkins was unanimously voted to become Minneapolis City Council president by fellow city council members. The Democrat rose to national prominence in 2020 during the nationwide protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, which happened in her council district, making headlines for her commentary on the situation.

In an interview with PBS Newshour, Jenkins called the murder “not only a crime against George Floyd, although he suffered the most deep injustice. But in my mind, it felt like it was a symbol for a knee on the neck of Black America.”

Of her being elected to run the Minneapolis City Council, Jenkins told NBC News that she hopes “it serves as inspiration for other trans and gender-nonconforming people.”

“My vision for this council and for the city of Minneapolis is that we come together and begin the really significant work of healing after our city has been rocked by the murder of George Floyd and so many other Black and brown people who have lost their lives at the hands of the state,” she said, adding to the outlet that she hopes to continue the fight for police department accountability and addressing issues surrounding public safety.

Annise Parker, the president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund (which works to increase the number of openly LGBTQ public officials in the United States) told the New York Daily News that Jenkins “leads her constituents and our country with the calm but steely determination the moment calls for,” noting that many major cities are dealing with “unprecedented challenges wrought by the pandemic and incidents of police brutality.”

“The unanimous vote from her colleagues is a recognition of that leadership,” said Parker. “Andrea is an elected official who serves all, but relentlessly champions those most marginalized, bringing an unmatched ability to spark empathy across divisions and communities. Minneapolis will be a better city with her as president and her history-making election will inspire more trans people to run and lead.”

Tags: Black Women, trends

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Written By

Rose Low

Rose Low is a writer based in New York, with a background in social media strategy and reporting. She has a Masters from NYU and a love for romantic comedies. See Full Bio

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