Minneapolis councilwoman Andrea Jenkins made history this week when she became the first out Black trans woman elected the city’s council president. She is now the first out trans official to lead a city council anywhere in the nation.
On Monday, the Minneapolis Councilmembers voted unanimously to elect Jenkins council president, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Jenkins already made history when she was voted onto the city council in 2017, making her the first out Black trans woman elected to public office.
Her election follows a turbulent two years for the city. The murder of George Floyd at the hands of police in 2020 was a catalyst for renewed Black Lives Matter protests, forcing both the city and the nation to face the realities of racial inequity. The city’s incumbent mayor, Jacob Frey, won a tough re-election bid in November. Minneapolis residents also voted against a bill that would have replaced the city’s police department with a Department of Public Safety.
The Star Tribune reports that the city council, with six returning members, including Jenkins, and seven new members, is also the first in the city’s history to have a majority of people of color.
“We represent a diversity of thought, of ideas and solutions to the most pressing issues of our time,” she said. “We have a whole lot of work to do.”
In a statement made to NBC News, Jenkins said that she would focus on issues pertaining to police accountability, affordable housing, and health care. “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.