Ferguson, Elections, Web

Ferguson, Elections

Ella Jones Makes History as Ferguson’s First Black and First Female Mayor

“It’s just our time.”

6/4/2020 12:10:00 AM

The St. Louis suburb was the site of protests over the killing of Michael Brown in 2014. (via glamourmag)

“It’s just our time.”

, on June 2—and in doing so, she made history. Not only is she the first African-American to hold the office, she is also the first woman. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, made national headlines in August 2014 when protests and riots broke out following the fatal shooting of a Black teenager named Michael Brown by a white police officer. Though

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Black Lives Matterexisted before Ferguson, the demonstrations there raised the national profile of the movement and its activists.Jones, a member of the Ferguson City Council, defeated fellow Councilwoman Heather Robinett with 56% of the vote, according to the

. “It’s just our time,” she told the paper. “It’s just my time to do right by the people.”She wasaskedwhat her election meant for Black citizens of Ferguson, to which she simply replied: “Inclusion.” Both Jones and Robinett expressed support for the peaceful protests in Minneapolis over the killing of George Floyd by a police officer.

“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,” she said in a video posted by Jason Rosenbaum of St. Louis Public Radio. “I know the people in Ferguson are ready to stabilize their community, and we’re going to work together to get it done.”

As reported in theNew York Times, Jones as lived in Ferguson for over 40 years and is also a pastor in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She previously lost a bid for mayor in 2017, losing to incumbent James Knowles III, who could not run again due to term limits. “If you’ve been oppressed so long, it’s hard for you to break out to a new idea,” she said at the time, per the

Times. “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.”

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