Ferguson Just Elected Its First Black Mayor

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Ella Jones will also be the Missouri city’s first female mayor. She got involved in city government after the 2014 police killing of Michael Brown.

Ferguson, Missouri, the city where protests helped propel the Black Lives Matter movement into a nationwide crusade, elected its first Black mayor Tuesday night.

Ella Jones will also be the city’s first female mayor. The St. Louis County Board of Elections confirmed the news of her win with the St. Louis Dispatch, reporting that she secured 54% of the vote.

Her success in Tuesday’s election marks the second time Jones broke down barriers in her local government. In 2015, she became the first Black woman to serve on the Ferguson City Council. Despite the Black community making up nearly 70% of Ferguson’s population, the city’s government and police force were largely white at the time.

“So, being the first African American woman, what does that mean? That means I’ve got work to do,” Jones said in a video posted Tuesday night by St. Louis Public Radio reporter Jason Rosenbaum. “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 stabilize their community, and we’re going to work together to get it done.”

Jones joined the city government just months after the 2014 death of Michael Brown, a Black teenager gunned down by a white police officer. His death sparked nationwide protests over police brutality and helped put the Black Lives Matter movement on the map. 

“It’s a sad way we got known all the way around the world,” she said in an interview last month. 

Her campaign largely focused on raising property values in Ferguson and attracting new homeowners.

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