AP/David Carson/St. Louis Post
On Tuesday, residents in Ferguson, Missouri elected Ella Jones as the first African-American and first female mayor in the city’s history. That same night, protestors across the nation continue to march in the streets demanding justice for George Floyd’s death and an end to police brutality and systemic racism.
The current protests are similar to those that erupted in Ferguson almost six years ago after a white police officer shot and killed a black teenager named Michael Brown. Brown’s body was left in the street for hours; the officer was not indicted and resigned months later.
According to the New York Times, Jones has “vowed to continue changes enacted after the 2014 shooting of Mr. Brown, including a federal consent decree, a legally binding agreement requiring reforms to a police department.” Jones had run for mayor and lost in 2017, two years after she became the first black woman elected to Ferguson’s City Council. Previously, there had only been one African-American member on the seven-person Council.
After her victory on Tuesday, Jones told a local journalist, “Being the first African-American woman, what does that mean? That means 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.” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that when asked what her win meant for Ferguson’s black residents, Jones said, “One word: inclusion.”
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“It’s just our time,” Jones said. “It’s just my time to do right by the people.”
On Jones’ City Council profile, it says she has been a Ferguson resident for more than 40 years and has also served as a pastor in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She also enjoys “traveling, trout fishing, preparing New Orleans style cuisine, dancing, and power-shopping with her girlfriends.”
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