City of Florissant elects first African-American councilman

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FLORISSANT, Mo. (AP) _ St. Louis County’s largest city is swearing in its first African-American councilman.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 46-year-old Robert Parson Jr. officially becomes a member of the Florissant City Council on Monday.

Parson’s election earlier this month comes less than a year after the city changed boundary lines of its nine wards so each would have roughly the same number of people.

The adjustments were urged in a 2015 letter by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a New York-based civil rights law firm.

The letter said Florissant’s electoral plan was challenging the opportunity of black voters to equally participate. The firm’s president, Sherrilyn Ifill, noted that 27 percent of Florissant’s population was black.

Parson says the council should look like the community it serves.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch