The Raleigh City Council, on Tuesday, July 14, appointed Stormie Forte to fill a vacant seat, making her the first black woman to serve on the Raleigh City Council.
In terms of diversity on its City Council, that puts Raleigh more than three decades behind Greensboro.
In 1983, Katie Dorsett became the first black woman elected to the Greensboro City Council. Dorsett died recently after a long career of public service, which included serving on the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, as the secretary of the Department of Administration for the state of North Carolina and as a North Carolina state senator.
The Greensboro City Council currently has three black women serving: Mayor Pro Tem Yvonne Johnson and Councilmembers Goldie Wells and Sharon Hightower.
In 1993, Johnson was the first black elected to an at-large seat on the City Council and later became the first black mayor pro tem. The mayor pro tem by tradition is the at-large councilmember who receives the most votes.
Johnson in 2007 became the first black elected mayor. Johnson lost her reelection bid in 2009, and in 2011 again won an at-large seat. Other than from 2009 to 2011, Johnson has served on the City Council since first being elected in 1993.
North Carolina 12th District Congresswoman Alma Adams served on the City Council from 1987 to 1994, when she resigned to fill an open seat in the state House where she served until winning a special election in the 12th Congressional District in 2014.
The late Claudette Burroughs-White was originally appointed to replace Adams on the City Council in 1994 and served until 2005.
Guilford County Board of Education member T. Dianne Bellamy-Small served on the Greensboro City Council from 2003 to 2013.
The current Greensboro City Council, along with the three black women already mentioned, includes five white women – Mayor Nancy Vaughan and Councilmembers Tammi Thurm, Marikay Abuzuaiter, Michelle Kennedy and Nancy Hoffmann – and one black male, Justin Outling. Since the 2017 election there has only been one male on the City Council and no white males.