Submitted by the City of Bellingham

The Bellingham City Council made City history on Monday, January 3, 2022 as the first black representatives ever elected to serve on the Bellingham City Council participated in their first Council meetings and were ceremonially sworn in.

The ceremonial swearing in by Municipal Court Judge Debra Lev honored all four Council members re-elected and newly elected to their positions:

  • Hollie Huthman, former At-Large representative, newly elected to represent the 2nd Ward
  • Edwin H. “Skip” Williams, newly elected City Council member representing the 4th Ward
  • Michael Lilliquist, re-elected City Council member representing the 6th Ward
  • Kristina Michele Martens, newly elected City Council member serving as the At-Large representative

Official documents allowing these Council members to take their positions and participate in meetings beginning January 1, 2022, were filed prior to the first of the year. The swearing in ceremony and the Council’s reorganization meeting can be viewed on the City website at meetings.cob.org.

Kristina Michele Martens and Edwin H. “Skip” Williams are the first black representatives to serve on the City Council in Bellingham’s history. During his remarks upon being sworn in, Williams said he considers serving the community as a City Council member a great privilege.

“I have lived here for 30 years, and I see this journey that I am about to partake in as one of the most challenging that I will have ever had,” Williams said. “I feel like this is the greatest privilege that I could ever have achieved, serving the community members of our city. I am very much looking forward to working with all of my colleagues on this council.”

In her remarks, Martens said she is committed to bridging gaps and building community together.

“I would be remiss to not take this moment personally to celebrate myself and Edwin Skip Williams at being the first two Black/African American Council members in the history of Bellingham,” Martens said. “While that has been quite the door and ceiling to get through, I’m just honored that I was one of the people in the position when the time was right to have the support of the community. I am going to do my absolute best, listen to what the constituents need and want and take direction and advice from all of you who have been doing this for so much longer. I am hoping to be able to bridge some gaps and build community together. I thank you for this honor and for giving me the chance.”

At the City Council’s reorganization meeting, the Council discussed the year ahead and made committee assignments, including selecting 1st Ward City Council representative Hannah Stone to serve as Council President in 2022, for a second consecutive year. Michael Lilliquist, 6th Ward City Council representative, was selected as Council President Pro Tem and Lisa Anderson, 5th Ward City Council representative, was selected as Mayor Pro Tem.

More information about the City Council available on the City website at cob.org/council.

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