Madame mayor: Michelle Kaufusi becomes Provo's first female boss in 166 years

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  • thebigsamoan Richmond, VA
    Dec. 10, 2017 1:06 p.m.

    Great article! Hope she'll be wildly successful as a mayor and then move on to higher political aspirations like being a woman senator and maybe even run for President one day. I could really see myself calling her Madame President Kaufusi, Now won't that be something? Go get it Michelle!

  • Wise-sage Pleasant Grove, UT
    Dec. 8, 2017 1:46 p.m.

    "Tooele City elected it's first Female Mayor, wheres her story"

    Because its Tooele City, relax just joking, congrats to Mayor Kaufusi

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 7, 2017 1:00 p.m.

    A nice lady with impressive background, and deserving of election based on her qualifications, I guess.

    However, all this hyperbole about "FIRST WOMAN!!" is ridiculous. Her background growing up in poverty and being married to a Pacific Islander football star are at least as newsworthy to highlight. (Republican former governors Nicky Haley and Rick Perry and Justice Clarence Thomas also have compelling backgrounds rising from poverty.)

    Gender has nothing to do with the ability to govern, or success in politics. Some women mayors are horrible (see Salt Lake City for an example), and some male mayors are just as bad.

    Her performance will be judged by results, not if they were achieved by a man or a woman. She has a tough act to follow, so the results will be interesting.

  • LogicalHeart Orem, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 6:56 p.m.

    It doesn’t make sense to focus on her gender just like it didn’t make sense to care about the gender of any politician throughout the last 100 years. It makes sense to vote for the right candidate. That’s what I’m sure Provo citizens have done for the majority of its existence, but now it has become important to place gender, race, and religion above other inherent traits/qualities. If Provo was worse off for not having a female mayor then what explicit Provo policies have dramatically and historically oppressed women when male mayors ruled the last 100 years? Anyone that cares about the gender of a mayor knows nothing about taking care of their own life. If you can vote (as has been the right of every adult in the last 100 years) you can’t complain.

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 5:36 p.m.

    Hurray! A mayor with a womb (my first choice is apparently on the banned word list even though it's anatomically correct)! Another first for Provo! Think of all those women who wanted to run for mayor and were legally prohibited from doing so. Or had better things to do and didn't want to be mayor. If we had real equality in this world this would be a non-story.

  • Musketman Stansbury Park, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 1:44 p.m.

    “I didn’t really believe them,” she recalls. “So I walked up and saw that wall and all those rows and rows and rows of Caucasian men.....So she will be the first CAUCASIAN female! Whats the point? It not just males who vote, women vote also. In fact Women hold the majority in this Country at about 54%, if they want to win, all they have to do is ban together and vote in force. Quite victim blaming, toward Caucasian males. Pretty sure Caucasian men were had just as much to do with making this Country the greatest it was, as anyone else! Also remember, that at some point in time, it was Caucasian males, that acknowledged and corrected the travesties, that kept Women from voting, ending slavery, enacting civil rights and so on and so forth. Yes the entire WORLD has been DOMINATED and run my men of ALL color, for most of History. Yet also recognize, it was the Caucasian males through out US history, that stood up to these travesties and do so today to correct the wrongs of society!

    On a 2nd note: Tooele City elected its first female Mayor, wheres her write up? Or is just because Mayor Kaufusi formented contention with her statement about white males?

  • My Names Syracuse, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 12:20 p.m.

    “So I walked up and saw that wall and all those rows and rows and rows of Caucasian men, and they were right — so that made me more determined than ever.” So what does the new mayor have against Caucasian men? It seems that this is a very popular way to think now. I thought she won on merit... not gender! The last mayor (a causation male) was loved by the citizen and did a lot of good. There is no shame in either gender or nationality... including Caucasian men.

  • Musketman Stansbury Park, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 12:19 p.m.

    Tooele City elected it's first Female Mayor, wheres her story?

  • Rob Ford Orem, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 10:56 a.m.

    Congratulations to Mayor Kaufusi. I am confident she will do a great job for Provo.

  • JkeithC Richland, WA
    Dec. 6, 2017 9:28 a.m.

    Great story. What a wonderful success.

  • Malihini Northern, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 9:02 a.m.

    Congratulations to Mayor Kaufusi. I'm sure she will make a great Mayor. She has another great woman on the city council to work with in Kim Santiago. She is the one that drives things and makes it happen in Provo.

  • toosmartforyou Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 8:49 a.m.

    Congratulations, Madame Mayor. Now, having worked for 5 different local jurisdictions over my 35 year career in public service, may I offer a kind suggestion: Please do not take the bull-in-a-china-shop approach the female mayor of Riverton did some years back when she asked for the immediate resignations of all the professional directors and staff; please do not tolerate corrupt, conniving "I'm-in-charge" female (or male, too) city managers or assistants that some cities have had to endure in the SW part of Salt Lake County; and please carefully avoid the gross mistakes made by the female mayors in the State's Capital City from either the past or present. A steady hand, well-thought-out solutions, and involving the advice of professionals without you taking the credit for everything, will produce a love and respect for you by the citizens and the city staff that will be literally unbounded. Certainly you have the potential...Good Luck to you!!

  • Unabiller Excelsior, MN
    Dec. 6, 2017 8:46 a.m.

    Historical note: the first female Mayor of any US city was Mary Elizabeth Woolley Chamberlain in Kanab, Utah, in 1911. (Janelle M. Higbee, Women of Faith in the Latter Days, Vol. 3: 1846-1870, "A Strong and Abiding Testimony"). Ted Jones

  • Red Smith American Fork, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 8:35 a.m.

    So what's going to change?

    Will Provo City build a Homeless Shelter? No.

    Will water rates go down? No.

    Will Red Tape go down? No.

    Elected officials really don't run anything.

    If you want change, change the city manager.

  • Nitro Escondido, CA
    Dec. 6, 2017 8:17 a.m.

    Raised in Southern California, but attended BYU in late 60's and 70's. Sister and her husband and 7 of 8 grown children and families still in the area. What a great life and story! Cindrella quality. Mother Garrick and Kaufusi family are champion class. Exciting day and future for city of Provo. Hope the Cougarettes are there to perform after the swearing in ceremony. Suggestion: Play Lee Ann Rhymes song "Let Freedom Ring" over loudspeakers after, and fill the halls! Un-cork the Martinelli's cider and celebrate. Congratulations, and ring that bell Michelle! Mama is proud, and she deserves to be - and so are we. I see a Hollywood movie script here. Get ahold of T.C. Christensen and make it happen. Like Sandra Bullock character in movie "Blindside". In Puerto Vallarta, Mexico now, so "Felicidades mujer - atascate, ahora que hay lodo!"

  • Bill Freeze Lindon, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 7:49 a.m.

    Michelle we do a great job and will be an inspiring leader for the people of Provo, Utah. She has the skills and determination to do whatever is required of her. It will be an exciting journey as she learns her new responsibilities...... and we are all prepared to help and support her!

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Dec. 6, 2017 7:17 a.m.

    As any happily married man will tell you, women are always the boss! Yes dear!

  • Lolly Lehi, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 7:14 a.m.

    I wish her the best! Having lost my dad when I was 7, it is a great mother who makes the difference and I relived my life's experiences growing up through what Michelle experience. It is different but the spirit of it is still the same. As Abraham Lincoln said, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”

  • dski HERRIMAN, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 7:14 a.m.

    Great story! I hope others will be influenced to seek and pursue their dreams. Successful leadership is not gender oriented. A successful leader does not lead by consensus but molds it. Alexander the Great once said, “He is not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep. But, he is scared of an army of sheep led by a lion.” Wish all the best for this new mayor.

  • Granny Barton Woods Cross, Utah
    Dec. 6, 2017 7:12 a.m.


  • Allen C Christensen American Fork, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 7:08 a.m.

    I think most people voted for Mrs. Kaufusi because they thought her the best qualified candidate. I think her up-from-the-bootstraps life is a refreshing reminder that America and Utah provide opportunity for people to achieve. It is also a reminder that one not need be a part of the political aristocracy to run for and get elected to office. I am pleased she had the courage to tackle the challenge. Best wishes to her as she begins this new venue of service.

    And thank you Lee Benson for this refreshing news article.

  • Habisha South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 7:00 a.m.

    Congratulation Michelle! It is great to see change to a tradition that has failed to understand and value all of Provo’s residents. Your life’s experience and courage will move the city forward with new and valuable insight.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 6:52 a.m.

    I don't think the idea of "boss" of Provo sends out the right message or the right attitude for mayors.

    Meanwhile we are reading about King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon, somone who took no salary to serve - that's right to "serve" his people and make them more free.

  • Florida-Cougar Melbourne, FL
    Dec. 6, 2017 6:47 a.m.

    Excellent article; inspiring family. The headline implies there was another woman mayor 166 years ago.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 11:08 p.m.

    There will be no equality until it is more important to know about the mayor's plans for the city than about the mayor's sex and/or gender, or their race or religion for that matter.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 9:48 p.m.

    Nobody said progress was easy.

  • scrappy do DRAPER, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 7:33 p.m.

    Women are always the boss