By Brittany Valentine, Aldia News
After lobbying and making her voice heard behind the scenes of Missouri politics over the last few years, Kendall Martinez-Wright is making a bid for the state’s fifth House district seat in 2022.
Just two days after Missouri’s House of Representatives passed a bill banning transgender athletes from participating in sports, Martinez-Wright announced her bid to be the first Black transgender woman in the chamber.
On Wednesday, April 14, she participated as a speaker at PROMO Missouri’s “Let Kids Play” virtual lobby day.
“We as a community need to ensure that trans folks deserve to freely participate with their classmates. I take a bold stance in supporting our trans and GNC (gender non-conforming) siblings,” Martinez-Wright wrote on Twitter.
Martinez-Wright, who grew up in Palmyra, Missouri, told The Missouri Times that she’s observed that rural communities like hers can often be overshadowed.
“With me being a very blunt minority — African-American as well as Puerto Rican and trans — I want to show individuals that no matter how you identify or where you are, your voice should always be heard, and I feel like at the end of the day there are voices that aren’t,” she said.
Martinez-Wright, who has worked for Empower Missouri and the Mid-Missouri Young Democrats, said that in the state House, she would prioritize education, infrastructure, agriculture and accessibility for her community.
When the pandemic hit and communities and schools transitioned from in-person to remote learning, Martinez-Wright noticed a “real cry for help and to be heard.”
“We need to address underperforming schools, ensure businesses and agriculture are operating and sustainable, and provide reliable internet infrastructure so students and families can be successful not only now during the pandemic but in the future,” she said.
The Afro-Latina candidate hopes that her campaign will serve to encourage others to involve themselves in the democratic process, either through grassroots work or from the state House.
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