Women in Local Politics

23 images Created 8 Dec 2020

Recently there has been a big push to get more women in politics. 2018 was dubbed “The Year of the Woman” when a record number of women won their House races, and it looks like that record may be broken again in 2020. Considering the pipeline for women getting into politics begins at the local level, how has that momentum trickled down to local races?

A 2017 report by California Women Lead* showed that a majority of city councils across California had no women or at most one women on the council. Sacramento is one of the cities which had only one woman council member, until recently.

This photo essay follows two women of color candidates who ran for Sacramento City Council in 2020, Mai Vang and Katie Valenzuela. Their election in 2020 has tripled the number of women currently on the Sacramento City Council.

*In 2017 they reported the following data about California’s 482 cities:
-The total number of women on city councils is 796 compared to 1734 men (31%)
-184 cities (38%) have ONE woman on the council
-56 cites (12%) have NO women serving on the council
-72 cities (15%) have a majority of women serving on the council
-In California, there is one city council, Blue Lake in Humboldt County, with an all women council
-Of the ten largest cities in California, the City of Oakland has the highest percentage of women serving (55%) and Los Angeles, Fresno, Sacramento, and Santa Ana have only one woman on the council.
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