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Pensacola Council Features First-Ever Woman Majority

City of Pensacola

Following the 2020 Election, the Pensacola City Council is welcoming four new members and will again have four female members. But, after today’s Installation Ceremony, women now make up a majority of the policy-making panel for the first time in history.

When time came, all four of the newly-elected members - Jennifer Brahier (Dist.-1), Teniade Broughton (Dist.-5), Casey Jones (Dist.-3) and Delarian Wiggins (Dist.-7) - were simultaneously given the oath of office by City Clerk Erica Burnett. 

“It’s wonderful to be a part of history. Here it is 100 years after women got the right to vote that Pensacola will have its first majority woman council,” proclaimed Broughton, who’s one of the women making history, after winning the District-5 seat.

“It just shows how far we’ve come as a city and I hope to continue with this progress of our city’s population really having a voice.”

“Good evening, Jennifer Brahier, your new District1 Council woman,” declared Brahier in a Facebook post on Nov. 13, hours after certification of her extremely narrow victory over the long-serving District-1 incumbent, P.C. Wu. She won by just three votes.

Brahier believes she’s the first woman to hold the District-1 seat and is excited to be part of the council’s first-ever woman majority. But, she also thinks it’s about time.

“Looking at the demographics in Pensacola for women 35 and older, we average somewhere around 55-60% of the population and yet we’ve never had a majority on council,” she explained. “And, so now, four out of seven puts us at 57% and so we’re almost at the true demographic of the area.”

In forming the female majority, the newly-elected councilwomen will join sitting council members Sherri Myers and Ann Hill. 

Credit WUWF Public Media
Pensacola City Council's female members, including newly-elected Teniade Broughton and Jennifer Brahier, Sherri Myers and Ann Hill.

Moving forward, Brahier is hoping for a broad, sweeping, more understanding, caring, “maternal” energy on City Council.

“I mean most moms juggle their own schedule and their kids’ schedules and their husbands’ schedule or things like that,” she said. “And, I do think that things like that broad spectrum ability and insight into the needs of others is really critical in moving a city forward.”

“Just because we’re all women doesn’t mean we all think alike, right? So, we will continue to have diversity of thought in our perspectives,” added Broughton.

“But, I think the unique part of this situation is that we won’t have the additional concern related to sometimes wondering if our voices are sometimes shut out because we are women. So, it allows the benefit of a more fair playing field, even despite of differences, we still have an opportunity to represent our districts and represent the city.”

This is not the first time Pensacola City Council has had four female members. It happened from 2009-2011, when Maren DeWeese, Jewel Cannada-Wynn, Diane Mack and Megan Pratt held office. At that time, though, there were nine seats on the panel and it took five to constitute a majority.

District-2 Councilwoman Sherri Myers joined the panel right after.

“I believe it was just me and Jewel (Cannada-Wynn); and Ann Hill was elected two years ago," said Myers of the 2018-2020 trio of females on the council.

But, never a majority before. Now, with Brahier and Broughton coming aboard, Myers, speaking to WUWF on Monday, said she was looking forward to it, “I think it’s wonderful. It’s historical and I think that it’s going to be a very positive influence on the council.”

During Tuesday's installation and reorganization, Myers made a bid to become Council President and lead the governmental entity with it's new woman majority. But, she lost to Jared Moore (Dist.-4) by a vote of 4-3. Ann Hill was the unanimous chose for council vice president.

Sandra Averhart has been News Director at WUWF since 1996. Her first job in broadcasting was with (then) Pensacola radio station WOWW107-FM, where she worked 11 years. Sandra, who is a native of Pensacola, earned her B.S. in Communication from Florida State University.