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Historic Salt Lake council majority LGBTQ, people of color

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Posted at 6:02 AM, Jan 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-05 08:14:05-05

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Salt Lake City has sworn in a historic new city council where the majority of members identify as LGBTQ, and most are people of color.

Councilwoman Victoria Petro-Eschler said Monday the makeup of the seven-member council is not just a “demographic novelty,” in conservative Utah, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

“This diversity is important because of what it means for how work gets done in our city,” said Petro-Eschler, who represents District 1, on the city’s racially and ethnically diverse west side.

The new minority-majority council comes just two years after the election of the capital city’s first minority member, Ana Valdemoros.

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Darin Mano, District 5, takes the oath of office as a Salt Lake City Council Member on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. Salt Lake City has sworn in a historic new city council where the majority of members identify as LGBTQ, and most are people of color.

Also representing the city’s west side is incoming council member Alejandro Puy, who is gay and immigrated from Argentina. “The working families of the west side are a force to reckon with, especially those mothers like mine,” he said during Monday’s swearing-in ceremony.

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Victoria E. Petro-Eschler, District 1, receives a pin from her son, Augustus, after taking the oath of office as a Salt Lake City Council Member, on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. Salt Lake City has sworn in a historic new city council where the majority of members identify as LGBTQ, and most are people of color.

Some activists are waiting to see how the members address issues like affordable housing, the environment and calls to fund social services over police, KUER reported.

“One of the biggest things we want to see is them directly addressing the issues we’ve been campaigning for,” said Deja Gaston, with the Party for Socialism and Liberation Salt Lake.