While Election Day 2017 was all about electing leaders in municipalities around the United States, it was also a time to usher in what may be a new era of increased representation in American politics.
According to The Hill, Andrea Jenkins — a city council candidate in Minneapolis — became “the first openly transgender woman of color elected to public office in the United States” when she won the vote on Nov. 7.
Jenkins, who ran as a Democrat, campaigned on hot-button issues such as affordable housing and raising the minimum wage, says The Hill, with the newly-elected council member previously serving as a policy aide to council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden.
But Jenkins wasn’t the only one to break down barriers this Election Day. CBS News reports that in Virginia, transgender woman Danica Roem “unseated one of Virginia’s longest serving and most socially conservative lawmakers,” making history as “the first openly transgender person elected and seated in a state legislature.”
The Democrat and former newspaper reporter not only made history, CBS News says Roem scored an additional victory on election night — defeating the candidate Del. Bob Marshall, who “sponsored a bill this year that would have restricted the bathrooms transgender people can use.”
With diversity in people, practice and though making their way into local governments everywhere, perhaps the theme of this year’s election is best summed up by Roem herself:
“No matter what you look like, where you come from, how you worship or who you love, if you have good public policy ideas, if you’re qualified for office, you have every right to bring your ideas to the table.”