Boston City Council makes history, electing six women of color

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BOSTON - For the first time in Boston City Council history, nearly half of the councilors are women and they all also happen to be women of color.

In the 1990s, just four of the 13 councilors in Boston were women. In 2006, there was only one; Maureen Feeney. And in 2009, the first woman of color, Ayanna Pressley, won a spot. She won re-election Tuesday night.

"This is what city council looked like in 2012. It's going to look a lot different come January," said City Council President Michelle Wu.

Wu, a Harvard Law graduate, says the new council shows women have come a long way in Boston.

"The more voices we have at the table that bring up different factors, that bring up diversity and input, the stronger our policy is," said Wu.

Wu, who is the first woman of color to serve as city council president, joins Pressley and three other existing female councilors who won re-election. They'll be joined by two women who won spots for the first time.

Lydia Edwards of East Boston beat out the grandson of a longtime Boston city councilor. The other newcomer, Roxbury native Kim Janey, says she and her fellow councilors won, not because they're women, but simply because they were good candidates.

"Very humbled to be joining amazing women on the council and men who are doing good work. This is a great day in the city of Boston and we certainly made history and I'm proud to be a part of that," said Janey.

City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George grew up in Boston is says she's proud to have new role models for young women and girls.

"This is an exciting day for the City of Boston and the Boston City Council. I'm looking forward to working with all of my new colleagues and the diverse perspectives they represent," said Essaibi-George. "I'm proud as a woman who grew up in Boston, that we have so many amazing new role models for young women and girls. I think about this, too as a mother of four boys. This sends a message, not just to our girls, but also to our boys, that women are leaders, and that they can be their role models too."

Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell said she's very excited to welcome the new members.

“This is a great day for the City! I am so proud to have two more women join the Council... As we increase the diversity of our Council, we move closer to being a truly representative legislative body.," said Campbell.

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