A wave of change is sweeping the nation!
A predominantly Black city in Alabama elected its first majority Black city council in the city’s 131-year history, The Hill reports.
Last week, residents in Pleasant Grove, Alabama had never elected even one Black person to fill a council seat in the more than 130 years since the town was founded. Now, three of the five city council seats are set to be occupied by Black council members.
The historic win is a result of a lawsuit filed by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and voting rights attorney Jim Blacksher on behalf of two local voters against the city who sought to change the town’s at-large voting method in elections.
“At-large voting requires all voters to cast a ballot for all five members of the City Council. Candidates must run from numbered places and receive a majority of the vote to win. In places like Pleasant Grove where the white majority votes against the candidates preferred by Black voters, at-large elections effectively lock Black voters out of local government,” the group said at the time, arguing that the law violated the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments as well as the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The suit was settled last year and the city agreed to change the process from at-large to a cumulative voting method. This allowed residents to cast as many votes as there were candidates, allowing the possibility for voters to give all of their votes to a single candidate. Nearly a year after the settlement’s approval, Pleasant Grove residents voted Tuesday to elect Black candidates to the council, making history by establishing the first majority Black council in the city.
“[The lawsuit] was definitely a catalyst to get us to where we’re at right now,” said Kevin “K.D.” Dunn, one of the candidates who won. “[I ran] not to create a historical moment [but] just to try to enhance the quality of the city. They wanted to see fresh blood, they wanted to hear fresh ideas from their elected officials, essentially that’s what they received and it’s a great and epic moment,” he added.
Congratulations Pleasant Grove!
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