Jess Herbst is Texas' first openly trans mayor. By telling her story, she has already inspired existing officials to embrace their identities publicly. For all Americans, trans or not, the town of New Hope offers a shining example of what happens when self-governance outweighs all else; proof that the partisan rancor and senselessness in Washington and many state legislatures does not easily trickle down. Because beyond ideology and rhetoric, the residents here continue to do what they’ve always done: set aside everything else to come together once a month and collectively make decisions for the betterment of their town.
Photographed by @jakestangel