Three Las Vegas City Council members were sworn into office Wednesday, highlighting a diverse seven-member body while giving a platform for new elected officials to say they looked forward to the work ahead.
Not since 1941 have as many new policymakers joined the dais, city officials said. But election victories last month by Brian Knudsen (Ward 1), Victoria Seaman (Ward 2) and Olivia Diaz (Ward 3) have altered the makeup of the council.
With four women now, city officials said they believed it was one of few female-majority councils in the U.S. They also said they believe Knudsen, who worked for the city for nearly a decade before consulting nonprofits, is the first openly gay Las Vegas council member.
The addition of Seaman, a former assemblywoman, raises the number of Republicans to three, equal to the tally of Democrats, even though the office is nonpartisan.
Mayor Carolyn Goodman, who noted the political affiliations of her six colleagues, said she considers herself nonpartisan.
“So are we going to have a good time?” Goodman joked, eyeing the council lineup with women on one side, men on the other. “I just love this! Oh, my God, you just wait Las Vegas, and Clark County, and Nevada, and the United States.”
Election victories also reunite Diaz and Seaman with former Assembly colleague Michele Fiore, who was unanimously chosen Wednesday to be mayor pro tem.
“So that makes it even more special,” Seaman said.
New policymakers were optimistic about the dynamic of the council – which has not had full membership since ex-Councilman Steve Seroka quit in March.
“I think there’s a whole lot that we can do as a city,” Knudsen said.
And as others did, Diaz expressed gratitude to supporters.
“The little girl who grew up on the east side of Las Vegas now gets to represent them,” she said. “That’s so exciting.”