North Carolina capitol city gets first Black councilwoman

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The city council in North Carolina’s capital city on Tuesday chose its first Black councilwoman to fill a seat vacated after a council member resigned.

Stormie Denise Forte, 49, an attorney and community radio host, was chosen from among 54 candidates to fill the position that represents Raleigh’s District D, which covers the southwest portion of the city, news outlets reported. She received six out of seven votes, and her first meeting as a council member is Aug. 18.

“I can honestly say I am a little emotional thinking of the historical impact of being selected,” Forte said. “Being Black and being female and being a person within the LGBTQ community — all those things make up the person I am.”

Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said Forte stood out because of her experience as an attorney, work in the criminal justice system, her understanding of government and her community involvement.

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“She will also bring a unique and needed perspective as an African-American woman and as a member of our LGBT community,” Baldwin said.

Raleigh, with a population of more than 470,000 as of 2018, is 27.1% Black and 53.5% white.

Forte will serve the remainder of Saige Martin’s term, which ends next year. Martin was elected to the seat in 2019 but resigned last month after The News & Observer of Raleigh published accounts of four men who accused Martin of sexual misconduct, which he denies.

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