During their meeting Monday, city councilmembers elected their fellow Councilmember Andrea Jenkins to serve as the Minneapolis city council president. She was the first out Black trans woman ever elected to a major city council in 2017.
Jenkins is now the first Out Trans person to hold such an elected position in the nation on a city council, although Lisa Middleton was sworn-in as Palm Springs mayor last month. Middleton became the first out Trans mayor in California and just the third out transgender mayor in U.S. history. The mayor’s office in Palm Springs rotates among councilmembers who serve one-year terms.
The Twin-Cities’ major daily newspaper, The Star Tribune, noted that after the vote Jenkins told the paper: “We have a whole lot of work to do.” She also added; “We represent a diversity of thought, of ideas and solutions to the most pressing issues of our time.”
In 2020, Jenkins became a national figure and leader as protests erupted over the murder of George Floyd , who was killed in her council district. She called his murder “a symbol for a knee on the neck of Black America” and demanded racism be treated as a public health crisis.
Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute, released the following statement about Jenkins
“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.”