Lily Baran and Tara Webster

Breaking a 30-Year Barrier: Lily Baran and Tara Webster Aim to Become Reno’s First Black City Council Members Since 1991

A Historic Run for Representation and Inclusivity

In a city where diversity has often taken a backseat, Lily Baran and Tara Webster are poised to make history as the first Black women elected to the Reno City Council in over three decades.

Their candidacies have ignited a sense of hope and possibility, challenging systemic barriers and paving the way for a more inclusive future.

Trailblazing Pioneers, Inspiring Change

Baran, a housing activist and former lobbyist for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and Webster, an outdoor science advocate with a master’s degree in biology, are no strangers to breaking down barriers. Their candidacies are a testament to their resilience and determination to effect positive change in their community.

“Running as a [Black-Latina] candidate can and has been an isolating process,” said Webster, acknowledging the challenges faced by minority candidates in the region.

Overcoming Obstacles and Earning Support

Despite the uphill battle, Baran and Webster have garnered support from various community groups and individuals concerned about housing, environmental issues, and the need for diverse representation in local government. Edward Coleman, the founder of the Black Community Collective, has actively campaigned and donated to Baran’s cause.

“Just because someone in Northern Nevada is Black doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to stand up to the issues of Black people,” Baran said, emphasizing the importance of aligning with candidates who share their values and have the courage to advocate for marginalized communities.

Representation Matters: Beyond Physical Resemblance

While physical representation is significant, Baran and Webster recognize that true representation goes beyond mere appearance. They advocate for representatives who share the experiences, struggles, and cultural understanding of the communities they serve, enabling them to craft policies that genuinely benefit marginalized groups and the working class.

“Voters and nonvoters alike need representation that goes beyond mere physical resemblance,” Webster stated. “We need representatives who share our experiences and our culture, understand our struggles, and can create policies that truly benefit the working class and marginalized communities.”

Honoring Reno’s Rich Black History

Baran and Webster’s candidacies also shine a light on Reno’s often-overlooked Black history, which includes contributions from renowned figures like architect Paul Revere Williams and poet Langston Hughes.

By acknowledging this legacy, they aim to honor the struggles and achievements of those who came before them, paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable future.