In a narrow victory, Sharon Weston Broome made history in Baton Rouge by becoming the first Black woman to be elected as Mayor of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the East Baton Rouge Parish on December 10, 2016.
Broome, a Chicago native, served on the Baton Rouge Metro Council and in the Louisiana Legislature before beating her opponent Mack “Bodi” White by 52 percent of the vote. She will succeed fellow democrat, Kip Holden, who held the office as the city’s first Black mayor of 12 years
Broome’s election comes at a time of racial tensions and hardship as residents responded first to the stirring death of Alton Sterling in July and the record-breaking flooding that followed in August.
In her acceptance speech Broome mirrored that sentiment with hope for the future:
“Tonight Baton Rouge made a statement, a statement that we are a city of inclusion, that we are a place of hope and optimism. A place where little boys and little girls of all walks of life know that they can grow up and lead a city no matter what their color or gender.”Baton Rouge Mayor-Elect Sharon Weston Broome
Throughout the campaign, Broome emphasized her plans to revamp the Police Department using the blueprint outlined by President Barack Obama’s Task Force for 21st-Century Policing. The outline includes suggestions from expanded training, improving the department’s technology, and alternatives to arrest.
Broome joins Senator-elect Kamala Harris, State Representative-elect Ilhan Omar, and State Representative-elect Val Demings as women of color elected in this unpredictable election cycle. Read more about these women and others who are writing the next chapter of political herstory.