Tempe touts 'most diverse city council in Maricopa County'
Tempe says its newly sworn-in City Council is the most diverse in Maricopa County and possibly the Southwest.
Tempe’s council now includes Arlene Chin, the first Asian American. In a city video, Chin says representation is important — especially for young people.
“I grew up in Tempe and didn’t have anyone to look up to that looked like me. I hope they know they have a seat at the table if they want it also,” she said.
Berdetta Hodge talked about how becoming the first African American woman elected to Tempe’s council impacted her sons, “There’s so much pride that they can see their mom stand up and do something. It makes them feel like they can stand up and do the same.”
Voters re-elected Jennifer Adams, the first openly gay woman on the council.
“People are really supporting one another and accepting one another and our community members feel safe as a result of our community members and our council,” she said.
In 2020, Doreen Garlid, a member of the Navajo Nation, became the first Native American elected to Tempe’s council.
Former Tempe Mayor Neil Giuilano, who came out as gay during his first term in the 1990s, released this statement: “Tempe is known to be a city that welcomes diversity and inclusion. The results of this election are one more proof point to that. Right now, we are setting the example nationally that diverse cities are successful cities, and we are giving our children role models.”
Here's information provided by Tempe about the City Council:
- Mayor Corey Woods, Tempe’s first African American councilmember and now Tempe’s first African American mayor
- Vice Mayor Jennifer Adams, Tempe’s first openly gay woman to be elected, now to her second term
- Councilmember Arlene Chin, Tempe’s first Asian American to sit on the Tempe City Council and the first to be elected
- Councilmember Doreen Garlid, Tempe’s first Native American councilmember
- Councilmember Berdetta Hodge, Tempe’s first African American woman councilmember
- Councilmember Randy Keating, who, when first elected at age 33, was one of the youngest councilmembers in Arizona. He continues to be a voice for millennials.
- Councilmember Joel Navarro, who is of Hispanic heritage
- There are more women than men serving on Tempe City Council.