MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Bounded out of her 8th Ward home and thrilled with her election night victory, Minneapolis City Councilmember Andrea Jenkins is practically giddy about making history.
“I didn’t run my campaign on being a transgender person. I ran a campaign on experience and relationships and the ability to get things done,” she said. “People responded to it, respected it, and that’s why people elected me.”
With Jenkins on the city’s southside and Phillipe Cunningham on the north, the political world was stunned by the first pair of openly transgender politicians to serve on a city council in a major American city.
“We can say residents of Ward 8 and Minneapolitans said no to hatred, no to transphobia, no to racism, and let a black woman lead,” she said. “That is incredible.”
Those victories will help re-shape City Hall.
In addition to Council President Barb Johnson losing, incumbent Blong Yang was defeated in the 5th Ward by first-time candidate Jeremiah Ellison who said with the election over, he is ready to get to work with his new colleagues just as soon as possible.
“I feel really good,” he said. “I really want to get a hold on economic developments strategy that employs northsiders; when people are employed, we can figure out the other issues in north Minneapolis.”
“The first order of business is to get cracking on police accountability and public safety in our community and to talk about affordable housing and making the city safe,” Jenkins said.