The first African American woman, Ella Jones has been elected a mayor of Ferguson, Missouri, to lead the St. Louis suburb that became nationally known after a police officer killed a black teen. Ferguson, Missouri thrust into the international spotlight six years ago by a fatal police shooting of a young Black man.
Ferguson elected its first Black mayor tonight, meet Mayor-elect, Mrs. Ella Jones. pic.twitter.com/UglVpk3tad— Marquis Govan (@kpsmg1) June 3, 2020
Ella Jones, a member of the Ferguson City Council, will become the St Louis, Missouri suburb’s first black and its first female mayor. Ella beat fellow council member Heather Robinett in the non-partisan election for a three-year term that starts later this month. Incumbent James Knowles III could not run again due to term limits.
Ella, a 65year-old resident of Ferguson for more than 40 years is also a pastor in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She secured her historic victory with 54% against her major contender, Heather Robinett with 46% of the votes.
The ascension of a black woman to mayor of Ferguson captured international attention including a tweet from a former U.S. President, Barack Obama.
Second, a reminder of the difference politics and voting can make in changing who has the power to make real change in a community like Ferguson with a history of blatant discriminatory law enforcement practices.https://t.co/U0z9wMOx8z— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 3, 2020
Ferguson became the flashpoint for protests after Darren Wilson, a white police officer, shot and killed Mike Brown, an unarmed 18year-old black man, on Aug. 9, 2014. The protests thrust Ferguson into the national spotlight. They also helped solidify the Black Lives Matter movement formed in the wake of the death of Black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida two years earlier and the acquittal of the neighbourhood watch volunteer who shot him.
In an interview, Ella said “It’s just our time, It’s just my time to do right by the people.” Asked what her election means for Ferguson’s Black residents, she responded: “One word: inclusion.”
Ella said one of her initial goals as mayor would be “to help stabilize the businesses in Ferguson,” especially those damaged in the recent violence. She also said she would work to bring the city council together on that and other issues.
Ella’s election continues a significant increase in African American political influence in the city in recent years. In 2014, there was just one black council member. Now there are four out of six, although Jones will be moving soon, of course, into the mayor’s seat.
Congratulations Distinguished Lady.
On assumption of office, should we expect any difference and positive strides during her administration in the coming years of her tenure as opposing the whites tenure?