Tishaura Jones on Tuesday was elected mayor of St. Louis and will become the city’s first Black woman to hold that office after running on a progressive platform and a promise to reform and revitalize the city.
On Tuesday (April 6), during her victory speech, Jones acknowledged her historic win.
“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,” she said before proceeding to give residents an idea of her plans for the city.
Amid the speech, Jones revealed that the $500 million expected from President Joe Biden’s stimulus package will be primarily distributed to rental and mortgage assistance, the expansion of small business grants, the development of new emergency shelters and large vaccination clinics.
She promised to support the ending of cash bail in an effort to reduce the number of people incarcerated, and vowed to invest in substance abuse and mental health treatments. The transfer of certain 911 calls to social workers and other licensed professionals is also included in her approach to city policing.
Ultimately, Jones said she is working toward equity and will use her platform to speak up about racism, homophobia, transphobia and all other forms of injustice.
“St. Louis: This is an opportunity for us to rise,” Jones said in her victory speech. “I told you when I was running that we aren’t done avoiding tough conversations. We are done ignoring the racism that has held our city and our region back.”
Jones’ career in public service started in 2002 when she became the Democratic committeewoman of St. Louis’ Ward. She moved onto the Missouri House of Representatives where she served for five years and became the first Black woman to hold the position of Assistant Minority Floor Leader. In 2013, she was elected as the first Black woman to serve St. Louis’ city treasurer, her most recent role before her yesterday’s (April 6) victory.
During her term, she attempted to run for mayor in 2017, but lost in the Democratice primary to St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, who she will now replace. Her swearing-in ceremony is on April 20.