All-female city council makes history in St. Paul, Minn.

Saint Paul City Hall and Ramsey County Courthouse. Photo by Mulad/Wikimedia Commons

Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Five women made history in St. Paul by winning separate political races to become the first all-female city council, making it "the youngest, most progressive and most diverse in Saint Paul's history," a designation the women gave themselves in a news release.

The newly elected representatives Anika Bowie, Saura Jost, HwaJeong Kim and Cheniqua Johnson will join Councilmembers Mitra Jalali, Rebecca Noecker and Nelsie Yang in January to make decisions that will impact the city.

In the coming years, they hope to focus on issues that include rent stabilization, equitable development and housing, community wealth-building and climate resilience, among other things.

"These historic results reflect Saint Paul's voters and their values," the councilmembers said in the joint statement. "Despite over a quarter-million dollars of conservative special interest spending citywide, organized people beat organized money."

The women called it a "historic moment" and said it "was made possible by the relentless work of these campaigns alongside a community coalition of faith leaders, labor allies, frontline city workers, educators, public safety, housing and climate action advocates, and more."

The vote came to an end on Friday after a hand count of paper ballots. Johnson said it's the biggest change to the city council since the 1990s.

"This is a huge milestone, but it's not just about the fact that we're all women," she said. "We are experienced. We love and care about our city. And we have garnered the trust of our communities throughout the entire city of St. Paul. That's what we heard at the ballot box."