When Rebecca Noecker first decided to enter politics in 2016, she was a young mom with two kids and many questions. She had a background in education but no knowledge of how to run for office.
“There were so many systems that I saw around me that just felt broken and people were in pain and I wanted to do something about that,” Noecker, 39, said. “And it felt like politics was a way to do it.”
She found a teacher in the only woman on her city council in St Paul, Minnesota.
A person holds a sign that reads “my body my choice”
Law protecting women seeking emergency abortions is target in US supreme court case
“She would walk around the lake with her constituents and called them ‘lake laps.’ I went on a lake lap with her, and I was just so struck by how authentic and genuine she was,” Noecker said of her mentor, former council member Amy Brendmoen.
“She had three children and talked a lot about how despite the fact that you make sacrifices and you’re not necessarily home every night, your kids have this remarkable opportunity to see you in leadership and see what a difference you can make.”
Today, Noecker, who represents the second ward, is St Paul’s longest serving member on the council. But she is far from the only woman.
Last fall, all seven city council seats were up for grabs. On 7 November, after a campaign season packed with candidates, Minnesota’s capital city elected its new city council – comprised entirely of women. Last week marked the group’s inauguration.
Noecker’s fellow council members – Nelsie Yang, Cheniqua Johnson, Hwa Jeong Kim, Saura Jost, Anika Bowie and Mitra Jalali – are all women of color and, like her, progressive in their politics. All council members are also below the age of 40. [Continue reading…]