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Pride Highlight: Andrea Jenkins

Updated: Jan 5

Andrea Jenkins made history in 2017 when she became the first African American, openly transgender woman elected to public office in the United States. As a politician, poet, activist, and community historian, Jenkins strives to bring “the notion of love into the public discourse.”

Jenkins’s political career began in 2001 when she served on the successful campaign of Minneapolis City Council Candidate Robert Liligren. She then became one of his staffers. In 2005, City Council member Elizabeth Gidden hired Jenkins as her aide. While working for Gidden, Jenkins won the 2011 Bush Fellowship “dedicated to transgender issues,” helped establish the Transgender Issues Work Group, and organized a City Council summit on transgender equality and the problems facing the transgender community in Minnesota, both in 2014.

In 2022, Jenkins won reelection to the Minneapolis City Council with 86% of the vote. Her colleagues then unanimously made her President of the Council, another historic first for an openly transgender person. With her new mandate, Jenkins wants to bridge gaps in her community, fight for accountability within the city’s police department, and expand access to affordable housing, health care, and living wages. She hopes her public service “serves as an inspiration for other trans and gender-nonconforming people.”

I had the honor of meeting this wonderful woman in Minneapolis MINNESOTA at the Pride at Work: Out for Democracy this year. She is truly an incredible woman

doing great things for her City.

“About Andrea Jenkins,” City of Minneapolis,

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