The Barriers Black Women Face While Running for Public Office

I was elected to the Portland, Maine, City Council in November 2022, in what I call the ‘new generation’ of Black leadership in public office. After the murder of George Floyd and the racial awakening this country experienced in 2020, we saw record-breaking numbers of Black women campaigning and being elected to public office.

Despite my excitement for more of us in elected positions, we are still severely underrepresented in government—and I believe this is by design. Our current system not only enhances the barriers that stop us from accessing public office but also hinders our ability to craft equitable policies once elected.