READING, Pa. – Four women were sworn into elected offices in Reading on Monday, including the auditor and three members of the city council. The election gives women even more of a majority on the council.
Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz is returning to serve District 2.
"Gentlemen, be prepared for our leadership," she said. "We bring something special to the table."
Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz will continue serving District 6. The council appointed her last February in the wake of the death of Councilman John Slifko, and voters picked her to keep serving. Cepeda-Freytiz said it's a position she doesn't take lightly.
"I saw a lot of the challenges that we face as a community, and I just wanted to step up, extend my services, volunteer my time to do more," Cepeda-Freytiz explained.
Newcomer Melissa Ventura, who will be serving District 3, is a single mother. She spoke about the challenges she's overcome and how she plans to use those experiences to help the community.
"My story is a testament to all the single moms out there who may feel like they don't have a voice," she said. "I am here to say that I will be your voice. I will fight for you."
The fight is one that these government officials realize will be tough, but they said they plan to tackle every obstacle.
"It's a new time for celebration, for togetherness, and you can say this with me, 'Shalom, peace be with you,'" Goodman-Hinnershitz said, prompting a wave of applause.
The first council meeting including all newly-inducted members will be held on next Monday, Jan. 13.