As we are on track to witness a record number of murders of trans people here in the United States, we are no doubt seeing a record number of qualified transgender people running for public office and that is a terrific way of fighting back.
Danica Roem has worked in her personal and professional life to put a stop to discrimination in Virginia’s Prince William County. An award-winning journalist she has covered every major and minor issue in her hometown of Manassas, including current Virginia delegate Bob Marshall. Marshall, 73, is known for his opposition to abortion rights and same sex marriage and has proposed bills that stigmatize transgender students in Virginia schools.
On June 13 Roem, 32, took the initial step toward winning Marshall’s seat by beating three other candidates and winning the Democratic primary election. Roem is the first transgender candidate to run for Virginia’s General Assembly and if she wins the election it would make her the first state legislator in Virginia to win as an out transgender candidate.
She announced her candidacy on January 3, the same day that Marshall proposed a bathroom bill for the state of Virginia. “Delegate Marshall’s legislative priorities are more concerned with where I go to the bathroom than how you get to work,” she said.
Roem’s passion for her hometown translates far beyond LGBTQ rights.
“When you have the ability to speak fluently about the quality-of-life issues that affect people who live here, suddenly your gender identity becomes less important,” she said.
Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, president of the Victory Fund political action committee, said her organization plans to coordinate a massive fundraising effort on Roem’s behalf in hopes of opening the door for other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender candidates across the country.
“What we have seen ushered in is a vast degree of tolerance for bigotry, for hatefulness, frankly, since the November elections,” Moodie-Mills said. “And, this is an opportunity for us in the LGBTQ community to push back and say, ‘No, we’re going to stand up against bad actors; we’re going to make sure that we get rid of people who do our community harm.’ And, so Danica is really our first swing of the bat.”
Roem is also endorsed by Emily’s List, Virginia’s List, Equality Virginia, The Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Women Under Forty.
To donate to her campaign see her Victory Fund page.
Lisa Middleton is running to be a member of the Palm Springs City Council and to be the first transperson to be elected to a nonjudicial office in the State of California. She retired as a senior executive with the California State Compensation Insurance Fund. Since her retirement has been impressive in demonstrating energy, ability and leadership in local civic causes and organizations.
Lisa has been endorsed by the Victory Fund and Equality California. To donate, contact or find out more visit her page.
Mel Wymore is running for New York City Council and would be the first trans person elected to office in a major U.S. City and the first trans person elected to office in NY State since Melissa Sklarz was elected as Judicial Delegate in 1999. Mel, a popular civic activist who lost a close election to Helen Rosenthal in 2013 in District 6 in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, when he had the endorsement of the New York Times.
Wymore has served as executive director of TransPAC, which works to elect progressive candidates in New York State who will support transgender rights. In addition to advancing LGBT rights, he plans to work for more affordable housing, create a better environment for small businesses, and improve constituent services. I’ve worked with Mel on the Advisory Board of TransPAC and have been impressed. For a trans person to have a seat at the table at the Big Apple . . . would be huge!
Kristen Browde is also seeking to make New York state history if she’s successful in her bid to become the next supervisor of New Castle, the Westchester County town where the Clintons’ home hamlet of Chappaqua is located. She is a step ahead as she heads the local Democratic Party line in her quest.
Browde, 66, an attorney and former CBS News reporter, leads a Democratic ticket whose members are part of a group called Up2Us, which was spawned from the Chappaqua Friends of Hillary.
I’ve met her and like her attitude, as when asked about her being transgender, she replied, “Yeah, people are going to be focused on that but I’ve got to tell you this: My gender isn’t going to balance the budget,” Browde said. “My gender isn’t going to fill a pothole or get the streets plowed of snow. My gender isn’t really going to be the factor that makes people’s lives in New Castle better. But what I do in office? That will.”
Learn more about her and her campaign in USA Today.
Kristen is also endorsed by the Victory Fund and the AFL-CIO. To donate contact or find out more visit her page.
To meet her June 28th at the Historic Stonewall Inn in NYC check this invite.
Phillipe Cunningham is a progressive, transformative leader in Minneapolis seeking to represent his community in North Minneapolis on City Council. Phillipe, if successful, will be the first out Black transgender man ever elected to office. With an impressive resume, he brings over 10 years of experience as a youth work professional, as well as currently serves as Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges’ senior policy aide and advisor for education, youth success, racial equity, and LGBTQ rights.
Phillipe has been described as a pretty big nerd with a pretty big vision. North Minneapolis was already on a collision course with its racial disparities stepping into the Trump Era and he has felt that now is the time is for local government to address the present challenges. Phillipe wants to work alongside his community to show how we can build democracy from the grassroots up. Please check out his website to learn more about how he plans to do it!
Endorsed by the Victory fund, his page is here.
I’ve yet to meet Andrea, but when I had a sit down this past February with DNC Chair candidate, Congressman Keith Ellison, we talked about issues and people and when it came to talking about outstanding trans people, people who have paid their dues and earned political respect, he talked with enthusiasm about Andrea Jenkins!
Andrea has an excellent chance to be first trans woman ever elected to a major city’s council.
Andrea Jenkins is an Award winning poet and writer. Most recently was awarded a Bush Fellowship and a Fellowship in the Cultural Community Leadership Institute at Intermedia Arts and sponsored by the Bush Foundation and named a fellow in the Many Voices Fellowship at the Playwrights Center.
Andrea earned her Masters of Science, Community Economic Development –Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, New Hampshire, a Certificate, University of St. Thomas, Community Leadership Institute, and Bachelors of Science, Human Services / Interpersonal Communications –- Metropolitan State University and has a MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University.
I expect a strong campaign as State Sen. Scott Dibble will be her campaign chairman.
Quoting Andrea: “As a person who represents multiple marginalized communities, I can bring a unique perspective to City Hall,” she said. “I think we have to have elected representation from those communities to deal with those issues.” “We all have to work together and I plan on being a voice for all those communities, all the underrepresented and marginalized people,” Jenkins said. “If we do that, we improve life for everybody.
“We will run a positive, inclusive and people-driven campaign focused on equity, affordable housing and sensible transit and transportation options for our diverse community,” Jenkins said.
She has been endorsed by Women Winning, which supports women running for office, OutFront Minnesota, an LGBTQ civil rights group, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and the Victory Fund. To donate of contact see also her Victory Fund page.
This is Jenkins’ first time running for public office.
All of these diverse candidates are truly impressive and deserve not only the support of the Trans community, but the support of all who wish to make positive change for all Americans and to push back on the reactionary forces that would set us back to a divided and depressive era.
Note: These candidates have reached a place in the spotlight and are not the only qualified candidates for public office, I hope to put a spotlight on the many other qualified transgender political candidates across the USA on a timely basis.