María Isa will be the first out LGBTQ Latina elected to the Minnesota legislature!
María Isa Pérez-Hedges is a lifelong Minnesotan, raised on the West Side of Saint Paul. She is a cultural community organizer, international recording artist, and youth worker running as the DFL-endorsed candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives District 65B.
María Isa currently directs the mentorship program for the Twin Cities Mobile Jazz Project which empowers young people through music and a cultural curriculum. She also serves on the Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board Public Engagement Advisory Task Force, working to ensure the Capitol is a welcoming space for community.
A Type 1 diabetic and insulin organizer, she has been a prominent leader in the fight for affordable health care in Minnesota. In April 2020, she played an integral role in advocating for the passage of the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act, and she continues her leadership within the Minnesota #Insulin4allChapter.
She is an alumni of the prestigious Wilder Foundation Community Equity Program, which brings together Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to advance their knowledge and skills to build community power and solidarity at the Capitol. For her outstanding work with You Thrive Live!, educating incarcerated youth throughout the state of Minnesota, she received the National Hispana Leadership Institute’s “Rising Latina Star” award.