Ella Jones made history as she was elected the first black and first woman mayor of Ferguson, Missouri. During the midst of protests for racial justice across the US, Americans made their way to the polls to cast their votes and let their voices be heard.
Jones claimed victory against fellow Councilwoman Heather Robinett by 138 votes to succeed term-limited Mayor James Knowles III. Jones worked as a chemist, church pastor, and Council Member and has been very active in her community. She has since committed to serving her community full time in which she serves in numerous capacities, including Board Member of the Emerson Family YMCA and the St. Louis MetroMarket. As a Council Member, Jones serves as a council representative on the following commissions and boards: Human Rights, Traffic, Landmarks, Senior Citizens, Parks, and West Florissant Business Association, according to her campaign biography.
Jones was elected amidst protests against racial injustice and inequality in all 50 states following the death of 46-year-old George Floyd, who was unlawfully murdered by white Minneapolis law enforcement officer, Derek Chauvin, after Chauvin held his knee to Floyd’s neck and killed him. The recent murder of George Floyd and following protests come after a string of continuous murders of black men and women who were murdered as a result of police brutality and racial injustice.
The election of Ella Jones as the first black and first woman mayor in Ferguson hits home as the community continues to mourn the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr. who was fatally shot by white Ferguson officer, Darren Wilson, in Ferguson in 2014. The death of Brown was one of many black deaths at the hands of law enforcement that sparked nationwide unrest, protests, and debate around police brutality, racial injustice and the relationship between African Americans and law enforcement officers.
In response to her victory, Jones said, “That means I got work to do. Because when you’re the first African American woman, they require more of you than they require of my counterparts,” she continued, adding that she’s ready to work together with others to help stabilize the community.