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The 67 percent black city of Ferguson now has more than one black City Council member


  1. In a high-turnout election in Ferguson, Missouri, the city's residents elected two African Americans to the City Council, tripling the number of black members and making the body more racially diverse than it's been in the city's 120-year history, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports.
  2. Black candidates Wesley Bell and Ella Jones won in the 3rd and 1st Wards, respectively. They'll join Dwayne James, the 2nd Ward black incumbent who's not up for reelection, and three white members, making the City Council half black and half white.

A sign of change

This municipal election was the first in Ferguson since Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, was shot and killed by former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014.

Until now, just one of the six council seats in the 67 percent African-American city was held by a black representative — so this changes a lot:

The city's police chief, city manager and municipal judge all resigned after a Justice Department report released in March revealed widespread racial discrimination by the Ferguson Police Department —and courts — against the city's black residents. Meanwhile, three of the white city council members declined to seek reelection.

The high voter turnout (the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 30 percent of the city's 12,738 registered voters cast ballots — more than double the typical turnout) is widely seen as a win for protestors who demonstrated against the handling of Brown's death and the larger racial dynamics in the city, and wanted to see dramatic changes in its power structure. But there's one exception: in the single race without a black candidate, "I Love Ferguson" campaign creator Brian Fletcher beat Bob Hudgins, a self-identified protester and independent journalist for the 2nd Ward seat.

Further Reading

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