In 1912, one year after women won the right to vote in California, Luella Johnston became the first woman elected to Sacramento’s city council, and to any city council in the state. She played an integral role linking the local clubwomen, progressive, and suffrage movements in California’s capital city. Her remarkable life provides a case study of how women in the early 1900s acquired and used political power, and in doing so changed their own and public perceptions of a woman’s role in the public sphere.

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