I have been saying for years that the most important thing that we must do to take the trans rights movement to the next level is to have trans people run for public office. It made me exceedingly proud to endorse Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham for Minneapolis City Council. They are not only on the verge of making history for trans people and trans people of color, but are also bringing progressive values, proven experience and real leadership that is so desperately needed in these contentious political times. As a multi-racial group of trans and gender expansive people, TUF has been appalled at the level of racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia at play in this election cycle and in the campaigns of our endorsed candidates. Now that the Koch brothers, national Republicans and downtown business interests have vowed to spend over $1 million dollars to stop a progressive and diverse group of municipal candidates, it validated the importance of these historic races and stiffened our resolve to ensure that through committed action these candidates emerge victorious on Election Day. The level of violence faced by our communities, the levels of HIV, the discrimination and disproportionate impact of poverty are all 'personal is political' issues that reflect whose lives matter and whose lives do not. At Trans United Fund's Breakthrough PAC we are committed to supporting candidates who not only mean it when they say 'trans lives matter' but are committed to real and practical solutions that honor that sentiment. Today, I'm proud to announce our endorsement of four, additional candidates who we believe reflect this commitment: Mayor Betsy Hodges, Jillia Pessenda and Jeremiah Ellison. We will work hard with our partners at OUTFRONT MN to not only support these newly endorsed candidates, but with our coalition partners dramatically expand efforts to Get Out the Vote and fight back against a million dollars of right wing money.
We at Trans United Fund are acutely aware of the saying united we stand, divided we fall So much of the history of marginalized people is one of division and outside groups seeking to drive wedges in our coalitions, but Trans United Fund knows that if we hand together, we are unstoppable.
This announcement also comes as our community is preparing to in two week mourn during TDOR the 22 trans people we have lost to hate and violence We often say rest in power and not one more - not just to mark their deaths - but to make a commitment to a living legacy - a commitment to the different sort of world we want to build.
This year has been dark, depressing and challenging, exacerbated by unprecedented violence and political dysfunction. It has been a terrible year for trans people, for women, for immigrants and for all of us that live in the margins. And we have fought back - harder and fiercer than ever - because we know our lives and human rights are on the line.
But unlike previous times, the trans community is not fighting this onslaught of anti-trans injustice alone. We were blessed to have by our side hundreds of thousands of people responding when the Trump Administration attempted to roll back protections for trans youth and attacked our trans troops serving our country in the US armed forces. The everyday violence against trans people is something more and more people are paying attention to and wanting to do something to end. More families are stepping up to love and support their trans children-not cruelly throw them in the streets.
This positive reality is at the core of what makes - even in the darkest of times - something new and transformative possible. We are doing our part to help our allies connect the dots and understand how our issues and oppressions we face as transgender people are inextricably linked to theirs.
And in a crucial time like this, it is needed and necessary for all of us to come together to help build a world in which trans people not only survive but thrive, but can contribute their talents to help make our communities better.
But we can only make real that beautiful dream of a world together. This is just the first step towards building a political home in which we develop a shared vision, a shared strategy and the power we need to make that vision real
But we can do none of it without you.
Whether you can give your time, your money, your expertise and/or wisdom - please join us in this work today and let’s get started building a world we can all be proud of.
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