Tishaura Jones elected first Black woman mayor of St. Louis
Jones will be city's third Black mayor, winning 52 percent of the vote over her opponent's 48 percent. She's sworn in on April 20.
The city of St. Louis has elected its first Black woman mayor. Former City Treasurer Tishaura Jones won the election Tuesday against Alderwoman Cara Spencer.
Jones, 49, will be sworn in on April 20. She will be city’s third Black mayor, winning 52% of the vote over her opponent’s 48%.
“St. Louis: This is an opportunity for us to rise,” Jones said in her victory speech Tuesday night. “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 has been critical of the city’s “arrest and incarcerate” model, even amid a rise in violent crime. She has vowed to restructure the police department and allocate more funds to substance abuse and mental health services.
“We need to declare gun violence as a public health crisis and address it as such, just as how we’ve addressed this current pandemic,” Jones said in a previous interview. “We need to have that same laser-focused attitude of looking at the root causes like we did with the pandemic, we need to address that same sort of root cause, focus on gun violence and public safety.”
St. Louis experienced a rise in killings per capita in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Further, the population of the city continues to wane as people flee to the outer suburbs.
Jones has been city treasurer since 2013, serving as a state representative for five years before that. She will replace Mayor Lyda Krewson, who opted to not seek a second term after being elected St. Louis’ first woman mayor.
Protesters marched on the mayoral mansion in September 2020 when Krewson “accidentally” revealed the names of protesters who opposed her police budget. She was forced to temporarily relocate for two months during the protests.
During her victory speech, Jones also addressed another issue that has been a consistent challenge in St. Louis: racism. The city — which is 48% white and 45% Black — is highly segregated.
“I will not stay silent when I spot racism,” Jones said. “I will not stay silent when I spot homophobia or transphobia. I will not stay silent when I spot xenophobia. I will not stay silent when I spot religious intolerance. I will not stay silent when I spot any injustice.”