ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — St. Petersburg’s City Council started 2020 off by welcoming its most diverse council to date.

For the first time in its 117-year history, two African American women, Deborah Figgs-Sanders and Lisa Wheeler-Bowman, are serving on St. Pete’s City Council. 

Figgs-Sanders, who holds the seat to District 5, is the newest member. Figgs-Sanders replaced Steve Kornell who served his term-limit for the district.

Wheeler-Bowman was re-elected.

Another milestone for the city council includes welcoming its youngest member, Robert Blackmon. The 30-year old council member took over Charlie Gerdes’s seat for District 1.

With a female-dominated council, the City of St. Petersburg still has a few more things to work on when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

During the swearing-in ceremony Steve Kornell, former city councilmember for District 5, encouraged the city to work on including immigrants and the transgender community.

“Gay people have gotten past the point of being demonized, now it’s immigrants. And it’s always been African American people and it still is. And transgender people,” said Kornell. “No nobody should be getting murdered for who they are and us being silent about that.”     

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