Andrea Jenkins first made history in 2017 after she became the first out Black transgender woman to be elected to public office in the United States. Almost 5 years later, Jenkins has done it again and is now the first openly transgender city council president in the U.S., as she was appointed to lead the Minneapolis City Council, according to NBC News.
She’s not only making Black history but United States history.
Jenkins also caught the nation’s attention again in 2020 when one of the residents in her district, George Floyd, was killed by former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, starting worldwide protests. Jenkins was one of the officials publicly calling for the defunding of the police.
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“I hope that it serves as inspiration for other trans and gender-nonconforming people,” she told NBC News. “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.”
Jenkins said she wants to continue fighting for a culture of accountability within the city’s police department. She said she is also focused on tackling issues that contribute to public safety, including access to affordable housing, health care and living wages.
The sentencing of Derek Chauvin and the guilty verdict of Kim Potter for the killing of Daunte Wright is “sending a message to police officers that, in this community, we are going to hold you accountable,” Jenkins said, according to NBC News.
Which is all that people of color have been asking for from the justice system. Hold these officers accountable.
Jenkins’ historical achievement is even more impressive considering the rise in anti-LGBTQ hate groups in the last couple of years and the record levels of anti-trans violence and legislation that limits the rights of transgender people in the U.S.
But, per the story from NBC News, Jenkins making historical victory also comes during a wave of LGBTQ representation in public offices around the country. There are now 1,051 LGBTQ elected officials in the United States, according to the Out For America map. Marking the first time the number of LGBTQ elected officials surpassed 1,000.
Jenkins is also set on fighting issues that contribute to public safety such as affordable housing, health care and living wages.