Tishaura Jones just made history as the first Black woman to become mayor of St. Louis, Missouri, CNN reports.
Jones got her start in 2002 when she was appointed as the Democratic committeewoman of Ward 8 in St. Louis. She went on to serve two terms in the Missouri House of Representatives, becoming the first Black woman to hold the title of Assistant Minority Floor Leader. She then became the first Black woman to be elected as St. Louis treasurer, where she has served for the last 8 years. Now Jones has just been elected as mayor, becoming the first Black woman to hold the title in the city’s 257-year-history.
Saint Louis, thank you for saying yes.— Tishaura O. Jones (@tishaura) April 7, 2021
Let’s get to work. pic.twitter.com/rYWc470Ioi
— Tishaura O. Jones (@tishaura) April 7, 2021
This was Jones’ second mayoral run after losing her first campaign in 2017 to current Mayor Lyda Krewson, who recently announced her retirement. Jones’ defeated Alderwoman Cara Spencer by 2,280 votes, running a campaign of progressive values and an oath to reform and revitalize the city.
...breaking down the historic racial barriers
“This campaign can unequivocally say that we’ve begun breaking down the historic racial barriers and the racial divides that exist, and have existed for generations in our city...As a city, we’ve been surviving. We’ve suffered disinvestments, decades of violence, broken promises from our city’s leaders, who have bowed to the will of special interests and insider dealings. It’s time for St. Louis to thrive,” Jones said in her victory speech.
This year was the first that St. Louis shifted to its new nonpartisan voting system, allowing residents to vote for as many candidates as they want in municipal primaries, allowing the top two to move on to the general election. Jones has a lot on her plate when she takes office including the current COVID-19 pandemic, addressing issues with the city jail and reforming city policing, and dealing with an increase in violent crime.
Jones has also promised to distribute the more than $500 million expected from President Biden’s economic stimulus package to organizations that need it the most “with an eye towards equity.” Her plans for the federal funds include rental and mortgage assistance, expanding small business grants, setting up emergency shelters, increasing vaccination clinics, investing in treatment for substance abuse and mental health and increasing social service funding among other things.
She's being lifted up by her community and peers on social media already:
It feels so good to vote for someone I believe in instead of merely against someone I don’t. pic.twitter.com/60dAIkTqL3— Katherine Annemarie 🌹 (@ReniTheRed) April 6, 2021
All in. My family and friends love you and all voted early...— Bob Horan (@BobHoranstllaw) April 6, 2021
Originally published on Because of Them We Can.