Andrea Jenkins has been elected president of the Minneapolis City Council, making her the first out transgender person to hold such a post in the U.S.
Jenkins’s fellow council members elected her unanimously Monday, the Star Tribune reports. She has been a council member since 2017 and was previously vice president. She was the first trans person elected to a major city’s governing body and one of the first out trans people of color elected to any office in the nation.
The city has many challenges ahead, including racial justice and police reform in the aftermath of Black man George Floyd’s killing by police in 2020 and the economic inequalities that have been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have a whole lot of work to do,” Jenkins said after the vote, according to the Star Tribune. She also highlighted the diversity of the council. “We represent a diversity of thought, of ideas and solutions to the most pressing issues of our time,” she said.
Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund and Victory Institute, released the following statement about Jenkins’s election: “As major cities face unprecedented challenges wrought by the pandemic and incidents of police brutality, Andrea leads her constituents and our country with the calm but steely determination the moment calls for. The unanimous vote from her colleagues is a recognition of that leadership. 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.”