Ferguson gets its first black mayor

CityLab Daily
Bloomberg

Herstory: Against the backdrop of demonstrations decrying police brutality and the killing of George Floyd, primary elections took place Tuesday in eight states and Washington, D.C., where people waited in line well past midnight (not to mention a 7 p.m. curfew) to cast their ballots. In Ferguson, Missouri, voters made history when they elected councilwoman Ella Jones as the city's first-ever black mayor. She won with 54% of the vote, according to the St. Louis Dispatch.

For residents of Ferguson, which is two-thirds African American, her election comes at a poignant moment. Six years ago, a white police officer shot dead 18-year-old Michael Brown, sparking protests that helped established the Black Lives Matter movement. A grand jury in St. Louis County declined to indict the shooter, Darren Wilson — a move in line with Missouri's long history of failing to hold police accountable for the use of deadly force. In 2015, Jones became the first black woman to serve on the city council, replacing a former cop named in a U.S. Department of Justice report describing routine racial discrimination by Ferguson police. Jones made her first run for mayor in 2017, but lost to incumbent Mayor James Knowles III.

When Jones was asked last night what her election meant to her and Ferguson residents, she responded: "One word: Inclusion."

There were other victories for advocates of racial justice on Tuesday: In Minnesota — where State Attorney General Keith Ellison will charge Derek Chauvin with second-degree murder for kneeling on Floyd's neck and three other former officers with aiding and abetting murder — the Minneapolis school board voted unanimously to end its contract with the police department. And in Iowa, Representative Steve King, a Republican known for his racist remarks, lost his re-election bid.

-Linda Poon

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What We're Reading

  • A city quietly removes a statue of its controversial former mayor and police commissioner (Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • An army of generosity gains strength in Minneapolis (Star Tribune)
  • D.C. residents sheltered dozens of protesters from police (DCist)
  • Find the police and military planes that monitored protests in your city, using these maps (Buzzfeed)
  • How Germany saved its workforce from unemployment while spending less per person than the U.S. (ProPublica)

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