Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Ferguson Makes History

CNN reports that:

The racial makeup of Ferguson's city council changed drastically Tuesday night with big victories for candidates Wesley Bell and Ella Jones.

Ferguson is 70% black, but was governed by a board on which five of six members and the mayor were white. Now the council will be 50% black.

Jones screamed when her victory became official late Tuesday night. She won 49.63% of the vote.

"Thank you, Ward 1. I love you," said an emotional Jones at a party held at Drake's restaurant.

She will become the first black woman to sit on the Ferguson council, but she said she never looked at it from a racial perspective. She said she heard the same complaints from a 65-year-old black man as she did from his white peers.

"My job is to be that catalyst so we can put a new face on Ferguson," she said.

Bell won the Ward 3 seat with almost 67% of the vote.

This was the first city election since white police Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown last August. Since then, this St. Louis suburb of 21,000 people has gone through epic upheaval with revelations of systemic discrimination against African-Americans by law enforcement and the courts.

Hopefully, these new African American city council members will actually make a difference. We do not need mere tokens. We need real change and progress.

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