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History is made at Phoenix City Council inauguration ceremony

Monday’s swearing-in ceremony for the Phoenix City Council was historic. For the first time in the city’s history, Phoenix has two Black councilmembers.

“As the first African American woman to serve on Phoenix City Council in its 109 years of existence, I am humbled and honored to be entrusted with this responsibility,” Kesha Hodge Washington said.

Mayor Kate Gallego supported Hodge Washington, a former assistant Arizona attorney general who beat former District 8 Councilmember Carlos Garcia. Gallego also supported Robinson, a retired assistant Phoenix police chief who replaced District 6 Councilman Sal DiCiccio, who termed out.

“It is crucial that we listen to each other, respect each other’s opinions and work together to find common ground,” Robinson said.

Both newcomers, considered more moderate than their predecessors, say homelessness, housing insecurity and public safety are priorities.

Reelected District 2 Councilman Jim Waring said the status quo isn’t working to address homelessness, “Money we’re spending right now isn’t making things demonstrably better and we’re reaching a point of no return. We need to do better and now.”

Reelected District 4 Councilwoman Laura Pastor vowed to put people over politics, ”Throughout my career I chose long term priorities over short term advances. I chose results and experience over expedience.”

The new council's first formal meeting will be held Wednesday.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.