PORTLAND, Maine — After swearing in a new councilor and mayor on Monday, Portland’s nine-member City Council is decidedly less male and less white.
It’s a notable distinction considering the disparity in diversity between elected leaders and the overwhelming amount of white voters who elected them. Maine’s largest city is nearly 84 percent white, but will for the first time in history be represented by a “minority majority” — five of the nine leaders identify as non-white and four are women.
“We’ve made great strides,” said District 2 Councilor Spencer Thibodeau, who became only the fourth person of color to serve on the City Council when he was elected in 2015.
Other people of color on the council include black representatives Jill Duson and Pious Ali, an immigrant from Ghana who was re-elected to a second term last month; Justin Costa, a Hispanic representative from District 1 whose father hails from Spain and Puerto Rico; and Tae Chong, who in November became the first Asian ever elected to City Council.
Troy R. Bennett
Troy R. Bennett is a Buxton native and longtime Portland resident whose photojournalism has appeared in media outlets all over the world.
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