The Agenda

Representation is Power: Meet Andrea Jenkins

Andrea Jenkins has already served the Minneapolis community in countless ways, as an award-winning poet, community activist, non-profit director, LGBTQ historian, and senior policy aide. Now she’s running for a new type of public service: elected office. If Andrea wins her election to the Minneapolis City Council, she will make history as the first openly transgender member of a major city council.

Andrea has built up a strong record of listening to the people of Minneapolis. For twelve years, she worked as an aide to the City Council, gaining firsthand experience as a liaison between communities and the city council. She has also provided a more literal ear for marginalized communities in Minneapolis as the first ever oral historian for the Transgender Oral History Project of the University of Minnesota. Andrea has lifted the voices of transgender and gender non-conforming people, with a focus on amplifying the stories of people with disabilities, people of color and undocumented immigrants. Her record of service is varied and deeply impressive, and it’s why she’s been endorsed by leading progressive groups in Minnesota.

But this election is so much bigger than Andrea. As she recently told the magazine Brit + Co, her election “would mean being seen as an ‘Opportunity Model,’ as Laverne Cox calls it. It’d be a symbol of the resistance and a sign that we are not regressing as far as it might seem to many right now.” Speaking to The Advocate, Andrea emphasized that cities are the front lines of resistance against the Trump administration. As a city council member, Andrea will continue to lead the fight to make Minneapolis equitable and accessible. Victory Fund has also endorsed Phillipe Cunningham and Jillia Pessenda as part of a trailblazing slate to make the Minneapolis City Council reflect the diversity of the city.