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History is made at Phoenix City Council inauguration ceremony

By Christina Estes
Published: Monday, April 17, 2023 - 6:14pm
Updated: Wednesday, April 19, 2023 - 8:04am

Christina Estes/KJZZ
The Phoenix City Council inauguration ceremony was held at the Orpheum Theatre on April 17, 2023.

Monday’s swearing-in ceremony for the Phoenix City Council was historic. For the first time in the city’s history, Phoenix has two Black councilmembers.

“As the first African American woman to serve on Phoenix City Council in its 109 years of existence, I am humbled and honored to be entrusted with this responsibility,” Kesha Hodge Washington said.

City of Phoenix
Kesha Hodge Washington represents Phoenix City Council District 8.

Mayor Kate Gallego supported Hodge Washington, a former assistant Arizona attorney general who beat former District 8 Councilmember Carlos Garcia. Gallego also supported Robinson, a retired assistant Phoenix police chief who replaced District 6 Councilman Sal DiCiccio, who termed out.

“It is crucial that we listen to each other, respect each other’s opinions and work together to find common ground,” Robinson said.

City of Phoenix
Kevin Robinson represents Phoenix City Council District 6.

Both newcomers, considered more moderate than their predecessors, say homelessness, housing insecurity and public safety are priorities.

Reelected District 2 Councilman Jim Waring said the status quo isn’t working to address homelessness, “Money we’re spending right now isn’t making things demonstrably better and we’re reaching a point of no return. We need to do better and now.”

City of Phoenix
Jim Waring represents Phoenix City Council District 2.

Reelected District 4 Councilwoman Laura Pastor vowed to put people over politics, ”Throughout my career I chose long term priorities over short term advances. I chose results and experience over expedience.”

City of Phoenix
Laura Pastor represents Phoenix City Council District 4.

The new council's first formal meeting will be held Wednesday.

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