Meet the People Making 2017 the Year of the Trans Candidate

06 Andrea Jenkins

Andrea Jenkins, Minneapolis City Council, Ward 8

The trans woman running for Minneapolis City Council is Andrea Jenkins, seeking election in Ward 8. The seat opened up with the retirement of Elizabeth Glidden, and Jenkins was the only candidate until Terry White declared his candidacy in April. While the races are officially nonpartisan, council candidates do seek party endorsements, and Jenkins has received the endorsement of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, the Minnesota affiliate of the national Democratic Party.

Jenkins was a policy aide to Glidden and a previous Ward 8 council member, Robert Lilligren. In this capacity she worked to revitalize the neighborhood with small businesses and arts venues, and helped organize a Trans* Equity Summit. She emphasizes, however, that revitalization must not come at the expense of poor people.

“Because of the society that we live in, there’s always a race and class analysis that has to be made as we are navigating everyday life, because of the inequities that are present where a very few people control all of the resources. It is, in my opinion, detrimental to a fair and equitable society. That is what I am working on,” Jenkins said at an event on “equitable development,” according to the Planet.

Jenkins is now is a historian with the Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota. She is a poet, prose author, and performance artist who has received numerous grants for her work. If she is elected to the council, she plans to work to support minority artists alongside her key causes of developing affordable housing, raising the minimum wage, and addressing youth violence as a matter of public health.

Like some other progressive politicians, she cites the Trump administration as a motivation for her to seek office. “Our world is shifting to some very right-wing directions, and our country is chief amongst them in being led by a cabal — I think is a very accurate term — of right-wing extremists who are hell-bent on destroying all of our safety nets, all of our environmental protections, all of our investments in young people and education, all of our cities in terms of gutting the Housing and Urban Development agency,” she told the Planet. “We as cities have to stand up and fight back. And I definitely want to be on the front lines of that battle.”

 

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