Written by By Erin Miller, CNN
California’s fifth-largest city recently held a ceremony to celebrate its first African-American female mayor, Muriel Bowser, who took office in January after campaigning for the position.
“Even though I have never held a city government position, I have the respect of the public, I have the respect of the business community, I have the respect of the non-profit community, but in the final analysis it’s about the idea, it’s about the mission, and that’s what I’m about, and that’s what is so special about what we are here today,” she said.
Bowser’s story is not uncommon.
In 2016, the last year for which data is available, there were 93 African-American women in city mayors’ offices across the United States, representing 3.9% of the total number of women elected to mayor.
It’s a slight increase from 2015’s total of 91 women at 3.4%, which was actually down slightly from 2013’s total of 93, when black women represented 5.1% of the country’s nearly 3,000 full-time female mayors.
Yet the report notes black women hold 74.3% of the 20,000 full-time jobs in municipal government. And while women of color occupy less than 5% of the offices in Congress, from which they serve as the Senate’s only majority-minority caucus, they comprise 14% of the country’s municipal mayors.
From Houston to Seattle, here are eight women of color who are breaking barriers.