On Monday, January 3, 2022, Lowell’s newly elected City Council took the oath of office and voted in a new mayor during an inaugural ceremony held at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium. The ceremony marked several historic firsts for Lowell, including the first City Council with eleven members and the first with district representation.
The new class of councilors are the first to be inaugurated into Lowell’s “hybrid” election system. The new system, created under the terms of a federal consent decree, replaces the City’s prior “at-large” system. The City Council voted to adopt the “hybrid” system in 2019 after Lowell voters expressed a preference for the system on the November 5, 2019 municipal election ballot. Under the new system, the City Council was expanded from nine to eleven members. The City has been divided into eight districts, and each district elected one member to the Council. Three City Councilors were elected at-large by voters from the whole City.
This change to Lowell’s election system has resulted in the City’s largest and most diverse group of officeholders to date. With district representation and two majority minority districts, the new system seeks to ensure that residents from every part of the City are represented.
Sokhary Chau’s election to the position of Mayor was another historic first. Chau is Lowell’s first mayor of color and the first Cambodian American mayor of any U.S. city. Emigrating from Cambodia as a child, Chau was raised in the Acre and has lived in the Lower Highlands for over 30 years. He has served on the City Council since 2019 and was elected as a district councilor for District 6 in this November’s election. In his inaugural address, Chau stated that he was looking forward to making “historic change” in Lowell.
Unanimously voted by his peers to assume the position, Chau was officially sworn in as mayor at Monday’s inauguration along with Vice Chair Erik Gitschier. Joining the newly elected mayor and vice chair on the City Council are newcomers Wayne Jenness, Corey Robinson, Kim Scott, and Paul Ratha Yem as well as incumbents John Drinkwater, John Leahy, Rita Mercier, Vesna Nuon, and Daniel Rourke.
The full Inauguration Ceremony, as well as the City Council’s first official meeting, can be viewed on LTC.
2022-2023 Lowell City Council
- Sokhary Chau, Mayor – District 6
- Erik Gitschier, Vice Chair – District 8
- John Drinkwater – Councilor At-Large
- Wayne Jenness – District 4
- John Leahy – District 3
- Rita Mercier – Councilor At-Large
- Vesna Nuon – Councilor At-Large
- Corey Robinson – District 2
- Daniel Rourke – District 1
- Kim Scott – District 5
- Paul Ratha Yem – District 7
To reach out to any of the City Councilors, please use our City Council Contact Form or call the Mayor’s Office at 978-674-4040.