This Is the First All-Female City Council in California
This tiny city is less than one square mile, but it’s showing the rest of California who’s in charge
In the tiny city of Blue Lake, California, the women run the show. Of California’s 482 cities, Blue Lake — with a population of just over 1,200 people — is the only city with an all-female city council. Women also serve as the city’s manager and town clerk.
According to the non-profit organization, California Women Lead, 56 of California’s cities still have no councilwomen, making the level of female leadership in Blue Lake particularly remarkable.
“Women just know how to work together in a way that men probably don’t,” councilwoman Bobbi Ricca told the LA Times.
Together, the women are tackling public safety issues, noise pollution, and working to draw new businesses to the area while keeping commercial cannabis businesses out. The Blue Lake City Council became California’s only all-women council in June after the only councilman resigned; however, it’s not the first council in the country to boast an all-female membership.
In 1912, Kanab, Utah elected the nation’s first all-women city council, pre-dating women’s suffrage in the US. In 1920, just two months after women were granted the right to vote, the residents of Yoncalla, Oregon followed suit, electing an all-female city council. Unfortunately, the pioneering women’s ambitions were dismissed, their win referred to as the “Petticoat Revolution.”
Though the US appeared to make great strides toward gender equality last year when Hillary Clinton became the first female presidential candidate to be nominated by a major party, it also plummeted to 97th globally in terms of women’s representation in politics. At its peak, the US was ranked 47th in 1997. In 2016, Rwanda was ranked 1st.
Even when women do participate in politics they continue to struggle with gender biases and discrimination, studies show. The women of Seattle’s majority-female city council were inundated with emails and social media messages telling them to “go back to the kitchen” and attacking their intelligence after they voted against a land deal for a sports arena.
Global Citizen campaigns to achieve the Global Goals, including Global Goal No. 5, toward gender equality. You can take action here to help create opportunities for global gender equality.
According to the “Huffington Post” women hold less than 25% of the nation’s 500,000 elected positions, but since President Donald Trump took office, the US has seen an increase in women’s political participation.
If more women continue to participate in politics and take on leadership roles, hopefully, Blue Lake won’t have the only all-female city council in California for long.