Milwaukie voters elect first Black man to City Council
Desi Nicodemus has broken barriers by becoming the first Black man ever elected to serve on the Milwaukie City Council, earning a vast majority of the Nov. 3 vote, even though he was running against three other candidates.
"Milwaukie's ready for change, especially when it comes to diversity and inclusion, to make sure that the BIPOC community feels welcome as part of the community," Nicodemus said. "If I can inspire other BIPOC community members to run for public office, that would be great."
Affordable housing will be a big priority for Nicodemus, seeing the impact of stable housing on his students in terms of getting higher test scores and graduations rates. He helped organize the Black Lives Matter sit-in in June at Milwaukie Bay Park and is involved in a BIPOC group for the city that meets monthly, in recognition of how the demographics of the community are changing.
According to unofficial Nov. 3 election returns, Nicodemus earned 61% of the vote to 11% for Adam Khosroabadi and 16% for Jon Stoll. As a teacher in the North Clackamas School District, Nicodemus helped set up affinity groups to fight for proportional representation among teaching staff, since about 98% of the district's roughly 1,000 teachers were white, compared to its approximately 36-40% students of color. Nicodemus, a member of the Milwaukie Construction Excise Tax Oversight Group, decided to run for City Council to make sure that government is "truly representative of everyone" who lives in Milwaukie.
A fourth candidate in the race for Wilda Parks' seat, former Republican congressional candidate Rob Reynolds, failed to submit his Voters' Pamphlet statement on time but still got 12% of the vote. Also failing to submit a statement on time was Karin Parsons, a PSU student and chair of the College Republicans group, who ran against incumbent City Councilor Angel Falconer.
Parsons only earned 26% of the early returns to 73% for Falconer's reelection.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.