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Iowa’s First Female African American Mayor Visits Urbandale High School

URBANDALE, Iowa  --  Students at Urbandale High School learned about Black History Month from a living Iowa legend on Thursday.

LaMetta Wynn was the first African American woman to be elected mayor in Iowa. She was elected to lead the town of Clinton in 1995 and held the office for 12 years. Wynn says she was inspired to run for office after witnessing other council members be disrespectful to each other and to citizens at meetings. She says one of the proudest moments of her career was when a young girl spotted her while she was grocery shopping.

"There was this lady with her little daughter, who said, 'Mama, she's the mayor.' And I thought that was nice because she didn't say, 'you see that lady, she's black or she's this or she's that,' she just said, 'she's our mayor.' And I thought, 'I think we're getting there,'" said Wynn.

Wynn was one of the first members of the Vision Iowa board and served as president of the African American Historical Museum and Cultural Center in Cedar Rapids. She is now a retired nurse still living in Clinton.