Cincinnati Councilwoman Pays Homage To Shirley Chisholm By Bringing Her Own Seat To The Table At Swearing-In Ceremony

Photo credit: Tana Weingartner/WVXU 

In the words of political pioneer, Shirley Chisholm, who became the first African American congresswoman and the first African American woman to seek a major party nomination for President of the United States: 

"If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair." 

Cincinnati Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard, who used the iconic Chisholm quote as her campaign slogan, did just that when she brought her own folding chair, red to be exact, to her swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday. She held it by her side while taking the oath of office. 

After winning her first bid for public office back in November, Dennard became one of nine newly elected Cincinnati council members. 

"I'm here to work on issues at the root cause, and not Band-Aid solutions," WLWT-TV reports Dennard saying. "Yeah, we can open more shelters, but we need affordable housing. We need income-based housing. That’s the issue."

Coming from a lower-middle-income neighborhood of College Hill, Dennard shared a word of wisdom from her mother that she still carries with her to this day: 

"My mother, struggling to put food on the table, used to tell me, ‘It’s not what people call you, but what you answer to.'"

The answer is now Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard. 


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