HAGERSTOWN, Md. (DC NEWS NOW) — Hagerstown is making history tonight. Takesha Martinez, a member of the city council, is the city’s first Black mayor.

Martinez has been program manager at the Robert W. Johnson Community Center in Hagerstown, has been involved in public schools here and was elected to council two years ago.

“I think about this being Black History Month. The best way to honor our ancestors is to make new history,” said Fred Chavis with the Washington County NAACP.

Council member Shelley McIntire confidently says Martinez will fill the shoes of Mayor Emily Keller to a cabinet-rank post as special adviser for opioid response.

“She really has done an excellent job of creating a community that felt as if they had a voice and someone they could rely and depend on,” said McIntire.

The historic appointment in Hagerstown comes just a month after Maryland elected its first Black governor.

“It’ll be amazing for the children [and] for the youth. For them to see they have options, knowing they can become anything they lean into. All they have to do is put in the time and the work,” said Chavis.

Council member McIntire sees Martinez carrying on the legacy of Mayor Keller.

“Takesha will take what Mayor Keller has built and continue on that path,” said McIntire.

Martinez was halfway through her four-year term. Council will now have to fill the vacancy created by Martinez being promoted to the mayor.