White-Blackwell Makes Middletown History as 1st African American Councilwoman

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Inclusion and diversity are one of the many goals for Middletown's new Common Council, especially after voters elected the town's first African American councilwoman.

Councilwoman Jeanette White-Blackwell made history earlier this year after she was elected to the town's common council.

Blackwell said she is excited to have a seat at the table and is focused on creating a better Middletown.

"I'm standing on the shoulders of so many amazing women and I realize it's a distinct recognition for me and I'm humbled by it," said Blackwell. "I'm glad to have a seat at the table and have a voice for the marginalized folks in the city."

Blackwell says being named the first African American councilwoman of Middletown is still new.

"It still feels so surreal for me," said Blackwell. "I feel very blessed to have this opportunity."

The councilwoman understands the power and responsibility that comes with the new position.

"I am so fortunate to lead the path for so many women," said Blackwell. "I hope that I can inspire other little girls who look like me."

Education, economic development and being a voice for those without are top priorities.

"It was important for me to serve in this city because I felt there were so many people who look like me who didn't have a voice and weren't at the table making decisions," said Blackwell. "I think it's important to have good schools and could change the trajectory of a child's life."

Blackwell is looking to inspire the next generation of women to be fearless in their pursuit of success.

"I encourage all women to have faith, dream big dreams, work hard, and persevere during tough times," said Blackwell. "If you can do those things, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to."

The councilwoman is hoping to implement a program exposing young women to local politics during her tenure.

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