On Tuesday, Councilwoman Ella Jones was elected as the first-ever Black mayor of Ferguson, Missouri. The city became known worldwide in August 2014 after unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown was shot there by a white police officer, sparking protests throughout the United States.
The historic election comes at a time when demonstrations against police brutality have erupted in every single US state following the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man.
Jones’ election marks an important shift in Ferguson’s leadership, as just six years ago there was only one Black city councilmember. Now four of six councilmembers are Black, Jones included.
This was the second time Jones ran for mayor of Ferguson, having lost in 2017. In this election, she won 54 percent of the vote over Councilwoman Heather Robinett, who received 46 percent. Both Jones and Robinett had pledged to support the goals of peaceful protestors upset by the murder of George Floyd.
After her victory, Jones told St. Louis Public Radio, “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.”
Jones is also the first woman to serve as Ferguson’s mayor.