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domineekee
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ASPartOfMe
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07 Dec 2019, 4:35 am

cyberdad wrote:
Well Jessica Benham certainly isn't your average run in the mill politician or for that matter your average Aspie girl

Image

She has lost weight and had a makeover which is understandable.

It is a lot less likely we would be discussing the looks of a male candidate.


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07 Dec 2019, 6:51 am

What about hidden ones? I wonder about Barack Obama - allegedly he has my personality (ENFP) and is a voracious reader (gathering a mass amount of input). I've seen him flat faced and emotional both (my responses to my high emotional sensitivity). I tried to find a post on here related to my suspicion, but didn't readily find one. I also could not find a picture of him in a tight green dress and heels. Perhaps BAP (Broad Autism Phenotype).



cyberdad
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07 Dec 2019, 7:00 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
It is a lot less likely we would be discussing the looks of a male candidate.


Sex sells regardless of gender
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/j ... ld-6666495

This formula worked for female politicians in Mediterranean countries and in South America as it attracts attention...



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20 Dec 2019, 5:17 am

Candidate seeks to become the first openly autistic member of Congress

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Collins, a 26-year-old truck driver, is currently the only declared Democratic candidate in the race for the state’s 10th District. The Democratic primary is set for Aug. 4, 2020.

Collins, a self-identified socialist, says on his campaign site that his experience as a trucker and navigating a complex, insufficient safety net shaped his views.

“[A] decade in the workforce has made the truth clear: our lives are made difficult on purpose. This system has been created and maintained by the people who own basically everything to protect their power,” he writes. “If we’re well-paid, secure in our housing, and educated, we demand a far bigger share.”

Although speculation abounds that historical statespeople who predate the modern understanding of autism, such as Thomas Jefferson, may have been on the spectrum, Collins would be the first openly autistic member of Congress.

Haley Moss, the first openly autistic woman admitted to the Florida bar, told America Rising that public figures such as Collins and Thunberg have the potential to create a snowball effect when it comes to disabled people participating in public life.

“I think the emergence of prominent, openly autistic people sets the tone for many others on the autism spectrum and within the disability community. It breaks down barriers, stereotypes, and shows how much we truly are capable of,” Moss told Changing America.

“It gives the next generation of autistic young people positive role models, and emphasizes the importance of self-advocacy. Openly autistic leaders empower self-advocates and also give parents and educators tools to build the self-esteem of autistic young people,” she added.

Zoe Gross, Director of Operations at the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, said it’s vital for more autistic people to have a hand in shaping policies that affect them as a community.

"While ASAN does not take positions on individual candidates, it is exciting to see multiple openly autistic people running for office this election season,” she told America Rising.

I agree this is an exciting time.


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10 Feb 2020, 3:42 am

Candidate with autism hopes to make history in New York State Assembly race

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Dylan Dailor, 20, says he's the first assembly candidate with autism among the two major parties. Dailor was first diagnosed with autism when he was just seven.

"I don't want anyone to vote for me because they feel bad, this isn't a come from behind story," Dailor says.

The Greece native, who was endorsed by the Monroe County Democratic Committee at its convention last week, is running for the 134th District seat. That seat is currently held by incumbent Peter Lawrence, a Republican.

"It was time for someone to step up and do their civic duty," Dailor says.

The sociology major at SUNY Brockport may hit the books during the day, but most of his other hours are spent hitting the streets.

While he says feedback has been positive, Dailor says he faces several doubts, not just with his age, but with the disorder, as autism can impact social skills. Dailor says he has overcome childhood struggles with autism. He says the disorder still plays a role in his life, but not to the same level as it did.

To his doubters, Dailor says the proof is in the papers, as he has already handed out several voter petitions. By law, Dailor needs at least 500 signatures.

On the issues, Dailor says he’s most passionate about education improvements and the development of green energy. However, he says he’s open to whatever worries people in the district the most.

"Being autistic, I have a very different view of the way that representative government should work, and it involves actually interacting with your constituents on a regular basis, and not just in election years," Dailor said

It’s a familiar approach for Dailor, as he has used his experience with autism as an opportunity to give a voice to people on the autism spectrum. Dailor has spoken through several TEDx lectures, and in 2015, he authored his own book, "I Am Not a Freak".

With the road to Election Day still many months away, he carries one message:

"We can really do anything, I mean it doesn't matter whether you consider us high functioning or low functioning, people on the spectrum can truly do anything."

The Democratic primary is on June 23.


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23 May 2020, 3:41 am

domineekee wrote:

House District 36 Democratic primary candidate Jessica Benham
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With incumbent Harry Readshaw retiring, it will be a fresh face representing Pennsylvania's House District 36 in Harrisburg.

The district includes parts of Pittsburgh's South Side and Carrick neighborhoods, as well as parts of Baldwin, Brentwood and Mount Oliver.

Jessica Benham has the backing of many influential Democrats -- Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald among them.

After getting her master's in bioethics from Pitt, Benham started the Pittsburgh Center for Autistic Advocacy, a nonprofit run by autistic people for those living with autism. The group focuses on improving access to care and providing more opportunities for those living with autism.

Benham says she wants to translate her advocacy to Harrisburg for all the people in her district by ensuring they have access to health care.

"Having somebody with that life experience in the state legislature is critical," Benham says.

Benham says she wants to ensure workers get fair wages and have the ability to organize. She's endorsed by the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO. One of her primary opponents, Ed Moeller, is endorsed by many of the local labor unions.

Benham also wants to help create a policy that will help the environment, knowing that the district has had its share of flooding issues.

Education is another key part of Benham's platform, saying in a time of squeezed budgets due to COVID-19, she won't cut school funding.

"Whoever wins this race will be going at a time where we will be facing budget shortfalls, and the last thing I want is to see budgets balanced on the backs of working people and school children," Benham said.

The primary is June 2.

Bolding=mine
That an openly Autistic candidate has the backing of influential politicians is encouraging.


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CarlM
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23 May 2020, 11:28 am

The only one I knew of was Sarah Selvaggi-Hernandez, an elected member of the Enfield, CT Board of Education

https://autisticadvocacy.org/2019/12/autistic-elected-official-sues-enfield-ct-board-of-education/

Then there is Dr. Cédric Villani, a prizewinning mathematician and a deputy in the French National Assembly. When running for mayor of Paris, a reporter asked if he was autistic and he said "What would it change anyway?".

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/30/science/math-villani-paris-mayor.html

From wikipedia:
Municipal elections took place in Paris on 15 March 2020,[1] alongside other French municipal elections. The second round, which was originally scheduled to be held on 22 March 2020, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in France.[2][3] Despite early plans to reschedule the second round to 21 June 2020,[3] a national lockdown which went into event on 17 March 2020[4] prevented the rescheduled date from being passed for at least 15 days.[2]

Macron was reported to have asked Villani to unite behind Griveaux on 26 January to avoid vote splitting, which Villani refused, partially seeing his candidacy as "faithful to the LREM spirit" of grassroots politics.[11][12] Villani, while of similar popularity to Griveaux, is considered unlikely to win.[13][14]


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23 May 2020, 1:42 pm

CarlM wrote:
The only one I knew of was Sarah Selvaggi-Hernandez, an elected member of the Enfield, CT Board of Education

https://autisticadvocacy.org/2019/12/autistic-elected-official-sues-enfield-ct-board-of-education/

Then there is Dr. Cédric Villani, a prizewinning mathematician and a deputy in the French National Assembly. When running for mayor of Paris, a reporter asked if he was autistic and he said "What would it change anyway?".

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/30/science/math-villani-paris-mayor.html

From wikipedia:
Municipal elections took place in Paris on 15 March 2020,[1] alongside other French municipal elections. The second round, which was originally scheduled to be held on 22 March 2020, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in France.[2][3] Despite early plans to reschedule the second round to 21 June 2020,[3] a national lockdown which went into event on 17 March 2020[4] prevented the rescheduled date from being passed for at least 15 days.[2]

Macron was reported to have asked Villani to unite behind Griveaux on 26 January to avoid vote splitting, which Villani refused, partially seeing his candidacy as "faithful to the LREM spirit" of grassroots politics.[11][12] Villani, while of similar popularity to Griveaux, is considered unlikely to win.[13][14]
I think I have heard of her,didn't remember the name but Enfield,CT sounds familiar


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23 May 2020, 4:06 pm

The kind of question that highlights the disconnect between what advocates want and think the world could look like and the stark reality of being autistic, where communication is a core deficit.

To be a politician one must have exceptional verbal communication skills prob in the top 1%, most NT`s don’t even possess such skills, so its no surprise that most are former lawyers, who once shouted across a court room trying to manipulate and influence a jury of 12.

Imagine an autistic man up against Obama or Clinton in the presidential debate, would be very uncomfortable to watch, a bit like watching a baby seal being clubbed.

I personally believe as a species we are hardwired to view good verbal communication skills to intelligence and competence, regardless of the actual scientific truth. This is partly why so many autistic people are mistaken for being intellectually disabled.

Why do most women look for personality as a most favoured attribute in a man and someone that can make them laugh as well?

I’ve had to answer my fair share of dumb interview questions over the years unrelated to my job to realise this.


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23 May 2020, 6:48 pm

carlos55 wrote:
The kind of question that highlights the disconnect between what advocates want and think the world could look like and the stark reality of being autistic, where communication is a core deficit.

To be a politician one must have exceptional verbal communication skills prob in the top 1%, most NT`s don’t even possess such skills, so its no surprise that most are former lawyers, who once shouted across a court room trying to manipulate and influence a jury of 12.

Imagine an autistic man up against Obama or Clinton in the presidential debate, would be very uncomfortable to watch, a bit like watching a baby seal being clubbed.

I personally believe as a species we are hardwired to view good verbal communication skills to intelligence and competence, regardless of the actual scientific truth. This is partly why so many autistic people are mistaken for being intellectually disabled.

Why do most women look for personality as a most favoured attribute in a man and someone that can make them laugh as well?

I’ve had to answer my fair share of dumb interview questions over the years unrelated to my job to realise this.

The autistic person debating Obama or Clinton would be most vulnerable to the unexpected so said person would have to hyperfocus on preparation, preparation for everything, the issues, Clinton's debating style what he is good at, what he uses to bully opponents. The advantage the autistic might have is as a pattern thinker might be good at finding inconsistencies.


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27 May 2020, 4:13 pm

This is yet more speculation, but I more than wonder about John Redwood. UK Conservative politician, most prominent in the Major government. Famous for his Vulcan-like mannerisms and speech patterns, which are pretty much stereotypical Aspie high-flyer. His focus on logical debate over crowd-pleasing has rather hampered his career in recent years. Can't say I admire his politics, though- he's an old-school ultra-Conservative of the hanging-and-flogging brigade.


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01 Jul 2020, 5:03 am

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Pennsylvania candidate would be first autistic woman elected to a state legislatur
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A Pittsburgh-area graduate student and candidate for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives would, if elected, become the first openly autistic woman to serve in a state legislature.

Jessica Benham (D) shares a few things in common with other candidates who made national headlines.

Like Virginia Delegate Danica Roem (D), the first trans woman elected to a state House, Benham's campaign is largely focused on infrastructure policy despite the milestone her election would represent.

Like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), her first step is to face off against a longtime Democratic incumbent in the primary: Rep. Harry Readshaw, who has represented the state’s 36th District for 25 years and who Benham told The Hill “has consistently been out-of-touch with the voters of this district,” citing his voting record on labor, abortion and gun rights issues.

“Readshaw has also attempted to pit the disability community against other communities, like the pro-choice community, without realizing that people with disabilities deserve bodily autonomy and choice as well. The district deserves someone who will listen and unite, not divide, our community,” she said.

Benham is quick to note that she would not be the first autistic women elected to office overall, as there are two currently serving on school boards. Both these cases and her own candidacy, she said, illustrate the need for disabled people who want a seat at the table to get involved locally.

“Disabled people make up approximately 20 percent of the population in the United States, but emerging research confirms what we’ve known on the ground — we don’t have equitable representation in government,” Benham told The Hill. “I want to use my perspective to ensure that disabled people have the same access and opportunities as everyone else in our district.”

Benham also cites other disabled and autistic activists who have served as role models without necessarily working in politics, such as climate activist Greta Thunberg, as well as Dustin Gibson, co-founder of Disability Advocates for Rights and Transition, which works against the forcible institutionalization of disabled people.

Benham, who is bisexual, would also be the first LGBTQ woman elected to the Pennsylvania legislature, and has taken similar inspiration from people like Ciora Thomas, a Pittsburgh activist who founded SisTers PGH, an advocacy and housing organization for trans women.

Benham told The Hill she plans to draw on her own history of community organizing and activism, including her work with the Pittsburgh Center for Autistic Advocacy, where she has advised on and written local and state legislation.

Benham’s candidacy is part of a broader trend in disability and autism advocacy that centers autistic people themselves as the most qualified advocates on the issue, according to Julia Bascom, executive director of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network

“When autistic people run for office, they are challenging ideas about what our community can do and showing that we belong everywhere — including in the halls of power,” she added.

Disabled candidates and legislators also bring a unique perspective to issues that affect the broader community, Benham told The Hill.

“People with disabilities face many of the same challenges that abled people do – we breathe the same air, drink the same water, use public transit, and live in the same communities. In many of these cases, we are more at risk than the abled population,” she said.

If elected, Benham would be the latest in a series of historic firsts for the autism community. Earlier this year, Haley Moss became the first openly autistic person to practice law in Florida. Because the disorder is underdiagnosed among women and often erroneously believed to predominantly or exclusively affect men, Benham said she thinks visibility for autistic women is particularly important.

“We know that women are less frequently diagnosed than men and often later in life, because of the stereotypes connecting autism with maleness,” she told The Hill. “I hope that my candidacy demonstrates to young people with developmental disabilities that they can be leaders, and that they can stand up for the future of their communities.”


She won the primary.


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04 Nov 2020, 9:11 pm

Jessica Benham won the general election in a massive landslide. Congratulations Jessica.


Yuh-Line Niou is a progressive who represents Chinatown in the New York State Assembly. She was just reelected. Congratulations Yuh-Line.


Yuh-Line Niou Is Fighting For Chinatown’s Survival

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She rarely broke eye contact and spoke with an openness that’s rare in a politician. Early in our conversation, Niou told me she’s on the autism spectrum.

“Really?” I ask. I’m aware of the concept of neurodiversity and know that the autism spectrum is wide, varied, and certainly doesn’t only present as a lack of empathy. But I was surprised by Niou’s candor.

Obviously!” she said. “I see everything in my life as cause and effect. When I was a kid, I would wonder, ‘Why does that kid have so many friends? Why is it that when they talk like this, they get that result? It was like going down a million roads. That's how my brain works, and it works like that on policy, too.”

State Senator Biaggi, Niou’s colleague and housemate, was effusive about Niou, telling me, “I think that her emotional intelligence coupled with her very smart way of understanding issues and the really pointed way she asks a question is an effective and powerful tactic. Because, in the end, what we’re really trying to do is represent our constituents.

“There’s just no wall with her. I think that a lot of people we work with have walls or a public facade. But she understands that showing up how you are is the essence of what it means to be a public servant. And that’s the only thing that is going to transform the system.”


Dylan Dailor got only two percent of the vote.


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09 Nov 2020, 4:41 am

Jessica Benham Becomes First Bisexual Woman with Autism to Win a Seat in US Election

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Elected to the state legislature of Pennsylvania, Jessica Benham has made history for being the first bisexual woman. Not only that Benham also happens to be one of the few autistic lawmakers in the country.

The Democrat candidate defeated her Republican opponent, Ed Moeller, in state House of Representatives District 36, located in the greater Pittsburgh area. Formerly, the seat was held by another Democrat member Harry Readshaw, since 1995, who did not seek reelection this year.

Benham is a graduate from the University of Pittsburgh and is cofounder of and director of development for the Pittsburgh Center for Autistic Advocacy, the only LGBTQ+ autistic-led advocacy group in the Pittsburgh area. Benham has said that she will be fighting for healthcare, workers’ rights, and a clean environment, issues that have become paramount for the Democrat party this year.


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09 Nov 2020, 5:17 am

She's also a democrat so that's a bonus. Hope we will see her in short skirts again.