Blacks are Still Widely Underrepresented on City Councils

November 4, 2014 | | The Washington Post |

City council races seldom get the attention of their up-ballot brethren, especially on a day like today when the fate of the U.S. Senate is up for grabs. But local elected officials probably hold greater sway over decisions that directly affect your life. And their ranks tell us something important about who holds power in any community — and, equally important, who doesn't. [...]

Demos, a left-leaning policy group, recently looked at the makeup of city councils in hundreds of communities across the country where the size of the black population suggests we might expect at least one city council member to be black. Among 438 municipalities on the below chart, blacks are underrepresented in 175 communities relative to their share of the population: