The 2021 Florida Legislative Session is just getting underway, but candidates for state senate are already beginning to plan for the next election in 2022. The first candidate to file for District 6, which includes Jacksonville, is 20-year-old Brooklyn Owen, who is transgender.
Owen, a Democrat, was a teenager when her Duval County family kicked her out because of who she was. She says she was touched by the generosity of the Jacksonville residents who gave her a couch to sleep on and a warm meal in that difficult time.
“I’m forever indebted to the Jacksonville community for the support that I received and for the chosen family that rose up around me. Ever since then, I’ve worked to pay it forward.”
That gratitude inspired Owen to create a scholarship foundation for LGBTQ youth of color.
Owen plans to run in support of a state-level policy similar to the Green New Deal environmental plan that was proposed in 2019. She said she would also lobby for increased education funding and a jobs guarantee for all Floridians.
The political newcomer is expected to go up against more established names in local Democratic politics.
Although Owen is the first to file, others expected to enter the race include Democratic State Representative Tracie Davis and Democratic Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Gaffney, according to First Coast News.
Owen recognizes her underdog status.
“I was called by a party insider, a woman actually. And she told me to sit down and wait to run, to run for something else,” Owen said. “And I think it’s important that the community realize we need to pick someone who truly understands the issues and will work to bring creative solutions to solve those problems, solutions that will really benefit the community.”
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