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Several firsts in North Adams, Massachusetts, city elections

Voters in North Adams, Massachusetts, made history this week. They elected the first woman mayor and first Black and openly transgender city councilors.

At 34 years old, Ashley Shade has lived in North Adams most of her life. She said she will give a voice to everyone in the city, including those who aren't usually represented, such as transgender people like herself.

Shade said winning the election shows progress.

"That we're willing to be a diverse and inclusive community and elect people not based on their differences, but based on their strengths and their ideas and what they bring to the table," said Shade. "And that is such a powerful message."

Michael Obasohan, who city officials believe to be the first Black resident elected to the City Council, said he feels like he is walking on cloud nine.

"It reaffirmed that North Adams really wants to be progressive. It really wants to move forward," he said. "And being in a predominantly white area and to see the numbers of community members that went out and voted for me, I was just thrown back of all the positive feedback that I've been given."

Obasohan said everything he'll work on, from the budget to city ordinances, will be through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion.

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