On January 2, 1991 Sharon Pratt Kelly became the first black woman to be elected mayor of a major U.S. city when she was elected mayor of Washington, D.C. She won the election against scandal-ridden Marion Barry. During her time as mayor, she campaigned for D.C. to be recognized as a U.S. state. The owners of the NFL football team, the Washington Redskins tried to influence her to pay for a stadium, which she denied. As a result, the Redskins moved out of the city. While the team is still known as the ‘Washington Redskins’ their home field is located in the state of Maryland.
She ran for re-election in 1994, but she came in third among Democrats. She ended up losing to the same man that she defeated in 1990 – Marion Barry.
In 2003, Pratt-Kelly landed a deal where she acted as a liaison between the U.S. Depatment of Homeland Security and the Department of Health.
Today, Ms. Pratt Kelly is one of the most respected people in politics and has opened a doorway for many African-American women in politics.