New York City, Boston and Las Cruces Head Into 2022 With Women Leading on City Councils

BLFF Team | Jan 31, 2022


As Barbara Lee Family Foundation Founder and President Barbara Lee wrote recently in the Boston Globe, City Councils are important to facilitating inclusive leadership at the local level. And we know that a City Council can be a pipeline to the mayor’s office and beyond for women candidates. Yet only one state, Hawaii, currently has gender parity at the municipal level (including City Councils), according to data from the Center for American Women and Politics. Every other state lacks representation for women.

However, we are seeing gains for women at the local level, especially in three cities that kicked off 2022 with historic representation on their city councils:

For the first time in history, New York City has a majority female city council. A record thirty-one women, both incumbents and newcomers, now sit on the New York City Council, more than double the number of women before the 2021 election. The women reflect a wide range of the area’s population.

Shahana Hanif, representing Brooklyn’s 39th District, is not only the first woman to represent her district, but also the first Muslim woman to serve on the New York City Council. Similar to Councilor Hanif, many newcomers to the council are the first women to represent their respective districts. Five Asian-Americans will now be on the council, —a new record— as well as six Councilors who are openly LGBTQ+ Last week, Adrienne Adams became council speaker, and the first Black woman to hold the position.

Boston is also entering 2022 with a female majority city council, a feat the city first accomplished in 2019. This term’s city council has a record number of firsts for women among the newly elected members: Tania Fernandes Anderson is the first African immigrant and first Muslim City Councilor; Kendra Hicks is the first woman of color to represent District 6; and Ruthzee Louijeune is the first Haitian-American City Councilor for Boston.

Another addition to the growing list of women majority governing bodies is Las Cruces, New Mexico. The Las Cruces City Council is entering 2022 with women representing all six council district seats, meaning the city has an all-female council for the first time. Becky Corran and Becki Graham are joining the council as newcomers, along with Yvonne Flores who was reelected. Kasandra A. Gandara, Tessa Abeyta-Stuve, and Johana Bencomo also sit on the city council and were not up for reelection this election cycle.

Read more about the New York City, Boston and Las Cruces’ female City Councilors below:

Female New York City Councilors

Carlina Rivera, District 2

Julie Menin, District 5

Gale A. Brewer, District 6

Diana Ayala, District 8

Kristin Richardson Jordan, District 9

Carmen De La Rosa, District 10

Marjorie Velazquez, District 13

Pierina Ana Sanchez, District 14

Althea Stevens, District 16

Amanda Farias, District 18

Vickie Paladino, District 19

Sandra Ung, District 20

Tiffany Caban, District 22

Linda Lee, District 23

Julie Won, District 26

Nantasha Williams, District 27

Adrienne E. Adams, District 28

Lynn Schulman, District 29

Selvena N. Brooks-Powers, District 31

Joann Ariola, District 32

Jennifer Gutierrez, District 34

Crystal Hudson, District 35

Sandy Nurse, District 37

Alexa Aviles, District 38

Shahana Hanif, District 39

Rita Joseph, District 40

Darlene Mealy, District 41

Farah N. Louis, District 45

Mercedes Narcisse, District 46

Inna Vernikov, District 48

Kamillah Hanks, District 49

Female Boston City Councilors

Ruthzee Louijeune, City Councilor At-Large

Julia Mejia, City Councilor At-Large

Erin Murphy, City Councilor At-Large

Kendra Lara, City Councilor, District 6

Tania Fernandes Anderson, City Councilor, District 7

Kenzie Bok, City Councilor, District 8

Las Cruces City Council

Kasandra A. Gandara, District 1

Tessa Abeyta-Stuve, District 2

Becki Graham, District 3

Johana Bencomo, District 4

Becky Corran, District 5

Yvonne M. Flores, District 6






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