Photo courtesy City of Laurel.

Valerie Nicholas has been elected as the first black female president in the history of the Laurel City Council. The event marks another distinguished first for Nicholas; in November 2011, she was the first African American female to be appointed, and later elected, to the council (she was appointed in June 2011 to fill the remainder of a prior councilmember’s term).

In November 2019, Nicholas was elected to her fifth term, garnering the most votes in the city in the process; to date, she is undefeated. She currently serves as chair of the City of Laurel Tree Board and Chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee for Persons with Disabilities.  She has also served on the city’s Parks and Recreation CAC as well as the Mayor’s Task Force on Homelessness.