( 4UMF NEWS ) Ferguson Elects Two Black Candidates To City Council:
The months of racially charged protests in Ferguson, Mo. apparently led to bustle and breakthroughs at the ballot box.
A tremendous voter turnout for Tuesday’s elections resulted in two black candidates getting elected to Ferguson City Council, tripling black representation in the embattled city’s government. This marks the first time the city council will have three black members.
With the election of Ella Jones in the 1st Ward and Wesley Bell in the 3rd Ward, half of the city council will soon be black.
Previously, the only black member of the council was Dwayne James in the 2nd Ward, who was not running this year, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III is white.
About 30 percent of registered voters hit the polls Tuesday, more than twice as many as there were in last April’s elections, even though the day was plagued by heavy rain and lightning.
“This community came out in record numbers to make sure our voices were heard,” said Bell, who defeated another black candidate. “When you have a community engaged, the sky is the limit.”
This was Ferguson’s first municipal election since white police officer Darren Wilson fatally shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown last August, sparking constant protests in the St. Louis suburb, including one in which two officers were shot and injured outside police headquarters.
The shooting also sparked upheaval in the city government when a scathing U.S. Justice Department led to the resignations of several top officials, including the city manager and police chief.
The new city council will be in charge of replacing those who left after the report, which said Ferguson’s justice system was overrun with racial bias and corruption.
Jones is the chair of the city’s Human Rights commission. Bell is a municipal court judge who will represent the district in which Brown was killed.