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Laurie-Anne Sayles elected to Maryland council

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

First black womaand J’can to hold the office

Published:Saturday | November 19, 2022 | 12:06 AM

Lester Hinds/ - Gleaner Writer


Laurie-Anne Sayles, whose parents are Jamaican, made history on November 8 when she became the first black woman and first of Jamaican heritage elected as a council member-at-large in Montgomery County, Maryland. As a council member-at-large Sayles will oversee a population of just over one million people and a budget of over $6 billion.

She previously served as a council member, but ran in the November mid-term elections for her new position and won, securing the second-largest vote total.

“I am honoured and deeply excited by this victory at the polls. I ran on an agenda of inclusiveness and emphasised equality and empowerment for all,” she said.

There are four-at-large council members for the county. The other three members were all re-elected on November 8. The total council members and council members-at-large is eleven.

Sayles has earned a reputation as an experienced leader, change agent, policymaker and advocate who believes in strategic self-empowerment. Before her election, she was the first African-American woman elected to the Gaithersburg City council in 2017.

She was appointed a member of the Montgomery County Community Action Agency, elected president of the African-American Democratic Club, elected vice president of the Montgomery County Young Democrats, appointed to the Economic Development Committee and Education Enrichment Committee, and several other regional boards, as well as local civic and community organisations.

“I look forward to using this opportunity to implement my S.M.A.R.T. vision which is a strategic commitment to helping the residents of our community, especially those who are underserved, under-represented, and less-fortunate,” she said.

She will also be part of a group of candidates who comprise the first majority-female county council in Montgomery County’s history.

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