Jillia Pessenda works as an independent strategy consultant in advocacy and politics. She has worked locally to pass zoning laws to allow for urban agriculture, community gardening and greater food access. As an organizer with Occupy Homes Minnesota she worked to pass the Minnesota Homeowner Bill of Rights. At Project 515 and OutFront Minnesota Jillia advocated for the passage of marriage equality and the Minnesota Safe & Supportive Schools Act. Most recently, Jillia ran for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 1 as an out queer woman –against a two-time incumbent– in a district that has never elected a woman to that seat. She was one of the most endorsed candidates in Minneapolis, with support from DFL Environmental Caucus, DFL Somali American Caucus, Stonewall DFL, Minnesota Nurses Association, AFSCME MN Council 5, Victory Fund, Trans United Fund, OutFront Minnesota, Take Action Minnesota, Sierra Club, MYDFL, Our Revolution, Our Revolution Twin Cities, Womenwinning, and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. She came in just shy of defeating the incumbent with less than 200 votes. She lives in Minneapolis with her partner, Monica Meyer, and their beloved dog Romeo.