by Anna Hartman – Staff Reporter
Washington State currently has no transgender members of its government, however, that could be soon to change if Danni Askini is elected as the state representative for the 43rd district of Washington State.
Askini has a strong progressive track record, and a history of standing up for the oppressed transgender community. She started her career as a child welfare activist in her community, gradually transitioning her focus to the LGBTQ+ community. She founded the Gender Justice League in 2012, and is currently operating as its Executive Director.
After having lived in Capitol Hill since 2007, Askini decided to get involved with the Washington State government she decided to run for the state representative of the 43rd district.
State representatives research and pass laws, as well as meet to discuss funding. Having a transgender woman in this position is the change that Washington State desperately needs.
By having someone involved with the local government who has actually experienced current gender issues, we can gain a greater understanding of the issues that a significant percentage of the population faces every day, and seek to become more understanding of gender issues.
Freshman Ahanu Boyle had some thoughts on what a transgender state representative could mean for the Washington state government.
“We definitely need more representation, because if there’s someone who’s making big decisions about transgender people, like laws and voting, I think that we should have someone who has personal experience with the issues that transgender people face.” Boyle said.
In addition to this, Boyle also thinks that there are many things that the transgender community could gain from having an elected official from their community.
“We could definitely gain more fairness. We could gain insight when it comes to voting. Just, really, like representation. Also someone to fight for us, because not many people do that.” Boyle said.
In addition to being transgender, Askini also has some very progressive and forward-thinking ideas outside of gender issues that could prove to be make a positive change for Washington. Two of the key areas that Askini plans to focus on are increasing accessible health care and improving education programs, two things that the state of Washington desperately needs.
“I will stand for a strong and more affordable Seattle, and a fair economy and all of our civil rights.” Askini said on her website.
Around 1 in 200 people in the United States identifies as transgender, and with many hot-topic political issues revolving around people in the LGBTQ+ community, it is vitally important that we have transgender representation involved in local government.