She could be the first trans woman in the U.S. Congress. So we talked to her.

From LGBTQ Nation:

Monday, September 3, 2018

Alexandra Chandler is seeking to replace Massachusetts’ Representative Niki Tsongas, who is setting down – and a win for her would make her the only known trans woman to be elected for Congress.

With her primary coming up this Tuesday, we got a moment to sit down with Alexandra Chandler and find out how being an out trans woman running for high office has played a part in her campaign, and what she brings to the table if elected.

Thank you for taking some time to visit with us today. First and foremost, we’d like to find out a bit more about you, and what motivated you to run at this time?

For me it’s a critical moment for our country and for the world, when our home districts member of Congress Niki Tsongas announced her retirement, I came to the realization that I had the professional experience, the subject matter expertise, and the lived experience that would make me be best candidate to get things done in Congress for ordinary people and to protect our democracy.

The reason I believe that is that on a professional level I served 13 years in the intelligence community. I joined after 9/11 and I worked under the Bush, Obama, and Trump administration on problems like Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and stopping weapons going to terrorist groups in a conflict zone problems that require you to work across divisions work with Republicans, Democrats, with people across government, with other governments to get things done. That sort of skill set is what we desperately need in Congress. That’s the professional experience.

Subject matter experience, I am the only candidate in our race with career national security expertise, and I believe that a Russian speaking Law School graduate and intelligence community leader is something that we could very much use in Congress today.

Then finally lived experience, I am a middle class Mom of two, with one sone in day care, and the day care costs to show for it, and the other son in public school. I am someone who dealt with a dad who struggled with addiction. I lost him when I was 17 and it makes my intention to bring a progressive agenda that really helps ordinary people and is informed by the experience of an ordinary person like me in congress.

Unlike some recent trans candidates like Danica Roem and Christine Hallquist, you’ve opted to put trans issues in the forefront, such as in your “Alexandra Chandler: running for Congress for you, #WhoeverYouAre” advertisement. How do you feel this has affected your campaign – or has it affected it at all?

What I’ll say is a the reason why I highlighted trans kids and the issues of trans people in a recent ad is that in Massachusetts we have the unique issue of anti-discrimination protections for trans people being on the ballot, and the outcome is in doubt according to the polling, and much as people would say, “Oh my goodness as a trans person who is running for office, you can’t talk about trans issues.”

Well my responses is, I’m gonna speak out to the vulnerable whoever they are when they need someone to speak for them. The rights of a vulnerable population on the ballot in my state. If I don’t speak out to them as a first openly trans candidate for Congress in Massachusetts then who will. I’m not going to create space for others not to speak.

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