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Ferguson Elects Its First Black Mayor In The City’s 165 Year History

Ferguson Elects Its First Black Mayor In The City’s 165 Year History

Congratulations are in order!

Ferguson, Missouri residents elected their first Black mayor in the city’s 165 year history, The New York Times reports

Ella Jones is making history, becoming the first woman and first African American mayor of Ferguson, Missouri. A resident of the city for 40 years, Jones ran her campaign tackling issues that she felt really mattered to the community, including a comprehensive plan for police reform that included a legally binding federal consent for changes. 

The city of Ferguson erupted into protests after the murder of Mike Brown by law enforcement in 2014. A year later, Jones became the first African American woman elected to city council, vowing to change law enforcement. She lost her first mayoral bid in 2017, chalking it up to the slow changing ideals of people. 

“If you’ve been oppressed so long, it’s hard for you to break out to a new idea. And when you’ve been governed by fear and people telling you that the city is going to decline because an African American person is going to be in charge, then you tend to listen to the rhetoric and don’t open your mind to new possibilities,” Jones said at the time.

She persevered anyway, running a strong campaign against her opponents and prevailing with 54% of the vote, just as more protests unfolded around the country after the murder of George Floyd by law enforcement in Minneapolis. Jones knows that progress will be challenging with so much unrest in the city, but she’s up for the task.

“I’ve got work to do — because when you’re an African American woman, they require more of you than they require of my counterpart. I know the people in Ferguson are ready to stabilize their community, and we’re going to work together to get it done,” Jones said.

Congratulations Mayor Jones!! 

Photo Courtesy of David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Associated Press