St. Paul, Minnesota, City Council Makes History with All-Female, Racially Diverse City Council
When St. Paul City Council President Mitra Jalali looked out at her fellow council members at their initial meeting this week, she saw all the members’ seats were occupied by women — a first for Minnesota’s capital city.
Experts who track women in politics said St. Paul, with a population of about 300,000 people, is the first large U.S. city they know of with an all-female city council. But even as the council members celebrate the milestone, they are expressing more excitement about what the all-female council can accomplish in the coming year.
“We’re a multifaith, multicultural group of women. Our professional experiences are what people trusted as much as our personal ones. … And we have a clear policy vision that we got elected on,” Jalali said in an interview.
All seven women are under 40 years old, and six out of the seven are women of color. From civil engineering to nonprofit directing, they have a wide range of professional experiences, which Jalali said helps capture the city’s diversity.