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Ella Jones Is Elected First Black Mayor Of Ferguson, Missouri

by : Julia Banim on : 03 Jun 2020 11:33
Ella Jones Is Elected First Black Mayor Of Ferguson, MissouriElla Jones Is Elected First Black Mayor Of Ferguson, MissouriShutterstock/City Of Ferguson

Ella Jones has been elected as the first black mayor of Ferguson, the city where black teenager Michael Brown was fatally shot by a white police officer back in 2014.

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Brown’s death was followed by months of protests against police brutality in the Missouri city, which ultimately led to nationwide Black Lives Matter protests.

Jones, 65, earned 54% of the vote in Ferguson mayoral race, with opponent Heather Robinett taking 46%. She will take over from James Knowles III, the mayor since 2011 who she lost out to during the 2017 mayoral election.

As reported by The New York Times, both Jones and her opponent Robinett had promised to continue changes put in place following Brown’s death. These changes included a federal consent decree, a legally binding agreement requiring police department reforms.

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Both candidates emphasised their support for peaceful protests following the recent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of a white police officer.

In a video uploaded by St. Louis Public Radio reporter Jason Rosenbaum on the night of Tuesday, June 2, Jones said:

So, 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. And I know the people in Ferguson are ready to stabilise their community, and we’re going to work together to get it done.

Ella JonesElla JonesShutterstock

According to the Ferguson City website, Jones has been a Ferguson resident for more than 40 years, and is a graduate of the University of Missouri at St. Louis where she studied Chemistry.

An American Chemical Society-certified high pressure liquid chromatographer, Jones is a trained pharmacy technician and has also been a pastor in the African Methodist Episcopal Church for 22 years.

Jones joined the city government in 2014, just a few short months after the tragic shooting of Michael Brown.

In 2015, Jones broke barriers by becoming the first black woman to serve on the Ferguson City Council. Although the black community makes up almost 70% of the population of Ferguson, as per The Huffington Post, the city had a mostly white government and police force at that time.

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As per Jones’s website, her priorities for the city include a focus on public safety, neighbourhood stabilisation, jobs and economic development, youth engagement, senior citizens, and consent decree.

Jones is a board member of both the Emerson Family YMCA and the St. Louis MetroMarket, a decommissioned bus retrofitted as a mobile farmers’ market as a way of bringing fresh fruits and vegetables to underprivileged communities.

She is also the founder and chairperson of nonprofit community development organisation Community Forward, Inc.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, Ella Jones, Ferguson, First Black Mayor, Heather Robinett, Michael Brown, Missouri, Now

Credits

Jason Rosenbaum/Twitter and 4 others
  1. Jason Rosenbaum/Twitter

    @jrosenbaum

  2. The New York Times

    Ella Jones Is Elected First Black Mayor of Ferguson

  3. ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI

    GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION

  4. Ferguson City

    Mrs. Ella Jones

  5. Ella Jones

    Learn about why I am Running Meet Ella Jones