*The city of St. Louis has elected its first Black woman mayor, who also happens to be the first single mother to rock the title.
Tishaura Jones made history on Tuesday after winning the election over Cara Spencer. Per The Associated Press, Jones has been an outspoken critic of the criminal justice system’s “arrest and incarcerate.” She defeated Alderwoman Spencer in the general election with 51.7% to Spencer’s 47.8%. She will be sworn in on April 20.
“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.”
Spencer noted in her concession the significance of her opponent’s historic win.
“This is something we should all celebrate,” Spencer said. “Our city broke a glass ceiling tonight, a ceiling that shouldn’t have been there.”
@tishaura made it clear that in order to heal one can’t ignore the obvious elements that have hurt our STL’s growth. It’s clear that her style of politics is one of being Transformative. #TishauraWins #STLWins #STLProud pic.twitter.com/rwkdBLK39t
— Devil’s Advocate📚💻 (@GentryTrotter) April 7, 2021
Per PEOPLE, Jones, a progressive Democrat, reminded her supporters during her speech Tuesday evening that she isn’t one to avoid “tough conversations.”
“I will not stay silent when I spot racism,” Jones said at the city’s Omega Center. “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.”
As the new mayor, Jones will inherit a city plagued by yet another wave of violent crime. She has pledged to “restructure the police department and reallocate money to substance abuse and mental health,” per KMOV4
“I can promise you this, I can promise you this. I’ll get up every day, day in day out, and I will work for you,” said Jones. “I believe St. Louis’s brightest days are ahead of us and not behind us.”
“As a city, we’ve been surviving,” Jones told supporters Tuesday. “It’s time for St. Louis to thrive. It’s time to bring a breath of fresh air to our neighborhoods.”
Jones previously ran (unsuccessfully) for mayor in 2017. In her Tuesday night speech, she said the loss helped “to prepare me for this moment.”
“This feels amazing,” she said. “I’m ready to get to work and usher in St. Louis’ new era.”
Jones has served as St. Louis Treasurer since 2013 and was a Missouri State Representative.