France may have its first public official with Down syndrome

France may have its first public official with Down syndrome

France may soon have its first elected public official with Down syndrome. Meet Eleonore Laloux, a 34-year-old woman with Down syndrome who is running for city council in Arras, France.

What are her priorities? A cleaner city, and improved accessibility for the disabled, for starters – but that’s just the beginning. She already has a list of possibilities for policy improvement for the town, guided by her central goal: fairness in society.

“I have loads of ideas in my head. I work on them every morning, every day,” she says. “I’ve fought hard to live with Down syndrome. It doesn’t trouble me any longer. Now I am fighting for inclusion. Handicapped people have their place in society.”

Laloux is already a strong advocate for the Down syndrome community, founding “Friends of Eleonore,” an association fighting social stigma against individuals with Down syndrome. And in 2014, her book Down Syndrome, So What? was published, inviting others to put aside prejudice in their perception of individuals with Down syndrome. She currently works as a private health administrator.

Frederic Leturque, the incumbent mayor whose ticket she is running on, only has praise for her. He told Reuters, “The disability she has, the force of her character, the ideas she has, will make us think differently.”

We wish Eleonore the best of luck as she prepares for the initial election in a couple weeks!

Image Source: SBS News

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