Monica against a columnMonica Paige DePaul was born in Staten Island, New York in 1987, to her parents, Patricia and Chris DePaul, and older brother, Mark DePaul. At the age of 5, she and her family moved to Palm Coast, Florida. She attended Wadsworth Elementary School, Old Kings Elementary School, Buddy Taylor Middle School, and Flagler Palm Coast High School, from which she graduated with honors.

At the age of 18, Monica moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where she attended the University of North Florida with a full academic scholarship. She double majored in English and philosophy, mastering the art of breaking down opposing arguments and interpreting language. Her studies have given her an eye for interpreting and responding to whatever anyone throws at her. After graduating in 2009, she stayed in Jacksonville to achieve her master’s degree in English at UNF, in 2011. All the while, she worked as a tutor to help other students master their writing skills and succeed in college.

In 2012, much changed in Monica’s life. She began her job as a professor at UNF, taking on the challenge of teaching freshmen-level writing courses. She cares little about online reviews of her and focuses teaching valuable skills in a challenging environment. Therefore, her classes are not easy A’s. Monica provides students with a variety of majors the skills that they need to succeed with real-life professional writing settings. She also teaches the critical thinking and reading skills necessary for students to live independent lives and resist manipulation.

Later in 2012, Monica completed her first book, Blood on Fire, a satirical and action-packed take on the vampire genre that also pokes fun everyday issues real people face. It’s the darkly comedic tale of Amy Able, a teenage girl who never asked to become a vampire but still must clean up the mess caused by a deep-reaching conspiracy headed by aristocratic undead. Monica released a direct sequel, Blood on the Rocks, in 2016.

Lastly in 2012, Monica began the process of becoming her true self as she took on the long, arduous, and expensive journey of transitioning from male to female. This learning experience truly taught her who she was and what it meant to be both a woman and human.  Navigating America’s healthcare system as an adjunct professor with no benefits is no easy task. This experience has given Monica the insight to know that a Medicare-for-all solution is the only viable solution to fix America’s healthcare crisis.

To this day, Monica is a powerful voice in the LGBT community of Northeast Florida. She helped push for Jacksonville’s recently-passed LGBT-inclusive Human Rights Ordinance. Her intense speaking and writing skills moved the Jacksonville City Council closer to making the right decision of protecting equal rights for everyone. Every day, Monica is a living contradiction to the made-up bathroom boogeyman the alt-right uses as a political scapegoat. Her voice counteracted the lying and fearmongering of the opposition.

In 2016, Monica made history. After volunteering for Bernie Sanders campaign during the Democratic primary, Monica was elected a pledged delegate for Senator Bernie Sanders. She attended the Democratic National Convention on behalf of Florida’s 4th Congressional District. This made her the first transgender delegate from Florida and a member of the largest transgender delegation to attend any national convention for a major political party. She also proudly participated in the Florida delegation’s historic protest of former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

Monica has rapidly gained influence in Florida politics thanks to her no-nonsense attitude and her drive to accomplish good. Monica also had the skills to predict the results of the 2016 election. She knows that spreading a narrative of inevitability, like how Hillary Clinton was portrayed, can easily backfire. When progressive ideals that many registered Democrats, Republicans, and independents support are ignored, voters stay home.

Now, in 2017, she’s here to fight the dominance of corporate rule by rich oligarchs like Donald Trump. Monica will not tolerate they racism, sexism, homophobia, and lying that have become the political norm.

Monica DePaul for U.S. Congress