At first, Jelynn Dela Cruz was in disbelief when she discovered that she had been chosen to represent her constituency at the Manitoba Legislature.
On Tuesday, she was watching a live election coverage when she noticed a checkmark appearing beside her highest vote tally. At that moment, she and her family members erupted with immediate joy and started jumping in excitement.
She expressed that despite her family members’ excitement, which I was also getting caught up in, she still found it hard to believe.
“It wasn’t until the party called me and my manager called me, came to the room to let us know that what we were seeing was real.”
On Tuesday night, the 23-year-old NDP candidate for Radisson was elected to be one of Manitoba’s next MLAs — the youngest woman believed to have ever held such a seat.
She is joining two other NDP MLAs in Manitoba politics, who are also making history.
Gen-Zers do not treat it casually.
She expressed her deep appreciation towards her family, loved ones, partner, and the individuals in Radisson who showed vulnerability by sharing their stories with her during this journey.
Dela Cruz, who’s Filipino, is among a diverse slate of Manitoba NDP MLAs making their way into government. According to the party, 20 of the 34 NDP candidates elected on Tuesday are Indigenous or people of colour, while 14 of the 34 are women or gender-diverse.
Out of the entire legislative assembly comprising 57 MLAs, 26 individuals are serving as MLAs for the first time. However, it should be noted that one among these 26 individuals is Ron Kostyshyn, who had previously served as an MLA and is now returning to the position. Among these 26 newcomers, ten belong to the Manitoba Progressive Conservatives party.
Dela Cruz expresses her desire for her unique viewpoint to enhance the representation of the younger generation in Manitoba.
Dela Cruz, a former president of the University of Manitoba Students’ Union, stated in an interview with CBC News on Friday that the younger generation has been handed numerous difficulties by previous generations in relation to climate change, healthcare, and the high cost of living in Manitoba.
The significance of youth has not been recognized or given proper attention, in my opinion.
Jennifer Chen, the recently elected NDP MLA for Fort Richmond, has the potential to create a historic impact, just like Dela Cruz.
It is believed that she is the first MLA of Chinese-Canadian descent in the province. She expressed her hope of representing the perspectives of her community in the legislative assembly.
Chen emphasized the significance of having representation in the legislature, highlighting the need for not only occupying a position but also uniting people and amplifying their opinions.
“I feel extremely thankful for being given the chance to be a representative of the diverse community of Fort Richmond.”
Chen moved to Canada 15 years almost ago to study kinesiology at the University of Manitoba. She got into advocacy work after graduating, and later, politics.
Chen emphasized the significance of having a voice, particularly when it comes to decision-making, during their time on campus.
Over the past ten years, she has actively participated in numerous cultural and community groups, such as the Women of Colour Community Leadership Initiative, the Asian Heritage Society, and the Newcomer Advisory Committee.
Manitoba is experiencing a thrilling period.
Chen, a woman of color, expressed that entering politics has been a difficult journey for her. However, she believes that confronting challenges directly has been the key to her progress.
Chen expressed that others perceive them as resolute and motivated to bring about a transformation. They aim to create an impact and are open to listening and taking action. Consequently, people hold a high regard for Chen’s attitude.
Logan Oxenham, the NDP MLA for Kirkfield Park, is also eager to create an impact.
He aims to represent the transgender community in Manitoba as the first openly transgender MLA elected.
“I believe that having diversity in representation is significant, especially in the current context. It is crucial to not only make oneself visible but also to uplift individuals who are typically underrepresented and provide them with a platform,” Oxenham expressed to CBC News.
It is crucial to acknowledge that transgender individuals are strong and deserve to be included in places such as the legislative building.
Up To Speed7:09Logan Oxenham achieves the historic milestone of being the first transgender man to be elected to the Manitoba Legislature.
Oxenham, who is among four MLAs who the party says identify as being part of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, has worked as a corrections officer and counsellor for youth. He is the recipient of the Manitoba 150 medal for his advocacy work for transgender Manitobans.
He expresses his enthusiasm for collaborating with a varied group of MLAs.
He expressed that Manitoba is currently experiencing a highly thrilling period. Their caucus is representative of the population it serves, which he finds to be a wonderful aspect.