Ella Jones Is Elected as the First Black and First Woman Mayor of Ferguson

Ella Jones Is Elected as the First Black and First Woman Mayor of Ferguson

Ella Jones Is Elected as the First Black and First Woman Mayor of Ferguson

Ms. Jones makes history in Missouri city that was the center of protests against police brutality in 2014.

Ms. Jones makes history in Missouri city that was the center of protests against police brutality in 2014.

Text: Mili Godio

Ella Jones became the first black and first woman mayor of Ferguson, Missouri on Tuesday, nearly six years after protests erupted in the St. Louis suburb after a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, a black teenager.

Jones defeated fellow councilwoman Heather Robinett with 54 percent of the vote and will succeed James Knowles III, who has reached his term limit after serving as mayor since 2011. As Jones made history, the country resumed into its seventh night of protests, sparked by the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota and the continuous police violence against black communities in the U.S.

“People from the seniors to the young people understand that my goal is for us to be one — for us to work together,” Jones told St. Louis Public Radio.

In 2014, Ferguson was the center of protests against law enforcement after the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by white police officer Darren Wilson. The protests helped establish the Black Lives Matter movement and bring attention to police violence against the black community. A grand jury and the Department of Justice decided not to indict Wilson for shooting Brown. He later resigned.

While the present-day protests continue, Jones said Ferguson has undergone large changes since 2014 that tackle the region’s racial inequities, including bringing more black individuals into key community positions and fixing how the city’s police department responds and operates.

When asked about her historic win, Jones responded simply, “That means I got work to do.” She adds, “Because when you’re the first African American woman, they require more of you than they require of my counterparts.”

The increase of black influence in positions of power since the Ferguson protests has been an uplifting success for the region. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, “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.”

Credits: Jeff Roberson/AP

UP NEXT

George Floyd Murals Found All Over the World In Solidarity With Anti-Racism Protestors
Street artists from several countries have memorialized Floyd as protests continue in the U.S.