South Bend Common Council makes history with upcoming female-majority
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — On Tuesday, a crowd chanted the name of South Bend’s next mayor, James Mueller.
The mayor-elect took a victory lap after an eight month campaign, but he wasn’t the only one celebrating a historic win.
“I just felt proud and humbled and honored all at the same time,” said Rachel Tomas Morgan, South Bend Common Council Elect At-Large member.
“It was really rewarding and it was wonderful,” said Lori Hamman, South Bend Common Council Elect At-Large member.
Lori Hamman, Rachel Tomas Morgan, Sheila Niezgodski, Sharon McBride, and Karen White won open and challenged seats on the city’s common council. The nine-person council will be majority women staring January 1.
“I think that it is in a way historic to have a majority of women on the council,” said Niezgodski, South Bend Common Council Elect District 6 member.
“I think what you’re seeing is what we’re seeing across the nation,” said Tomas Morgan.
The ‘pink wave’ is the name seen on social media. It’s used to express an increase in women running for public office.
In 2018, at least 110 women won seats in the United States Senate and House of Representatives. However, Niezgodski, Hamman, and Tomas Morgan said they won off of merit not based on gender.
“Each of us bring a different culture, background, level of expertise, and education,” said Hamman.
Hamman teaches politics to students at Marian High School. Tomas Morgan leads a program at the University of Notre Dame.
Niezgodski operates her family’s plumbing company. According to her, the next council will be diverse.
“I think reflects the City of South Bend, enrichen it’s diversity, and I’m excited to work with everybody,” said Niezgodski.
Whether repressing the sixth district or all of South Bend, the next council send a simple message the the city’s young women and girls.
“You can do this too,” said Tomas Morgan.