First women are elected to Seattle City Council on May 2, 1922.

  • By Priscilla Long
  • Posted 1/01/2000
  • Essay 2533
See Additional Media

On May 2, 1922, women are elected for the first time to the Seattle City Council. The two women elected are Bertha Knight Landes (1868-1943), who won 80 percent of the vote and later served a term as Seattle mayor, and Kathryn Miracle.

Miracle finished fourth. She had come to Seattle 16 years before. She was born in Ontario and graduated from the University of Montana. During World War I, she worked as a stenographer and did legal work for the shipping board. She opened her own real estate office in the University District and was an accomplished singer and harpist. She said: "I stand for a progressive platform. I shall take a firm stand for a five cent car fare."

Washington women were granted their right to vote on November 8, 1910. On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States recognized that "the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."

Bertha Knight Landes was elected mayor of Seattle in 1926, becoming the first woman to lead a major American city. She ran on a platform of "municipal housekeeping," vowing to clean up city government. She advocated municipal ownership of utilities. Her single term ended in 1928.


Sandra Haarsager, Bertha Knight Landes: Big-City Mayor (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994); Woman's Home Companion, October 19, 1922; "Women Elected to Council Will Work for Best Interest of City," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 3, 1922, p. 4; "Successful Candidates for Council Renew Pledges," The Seattle Times, May 3, 1922, p. 3.

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You