ST. LOUIS – Thursday marked the first 100 days of St. Louis City Mayor Tishaura Jones in office.
Mayor Jones has expressed her ambitious plans and hope for transformation in the area since she began campaigning and says she is proud of what she and her team have accomplished so far.
“When I ran for mayor, I ran to change things, and so far we’ve ruffled a few feathers but overall I think we’ve tried to make sure that we are keeping the promises we made to people on the campaign trail,” Jones said.
Some of those promises include revitalizing specific areas of the city, including north St. Louis where Jones grew up and currently lives with her 13-year-old, addressing high crime and homicide rates, reversing population decline, bridging the racial divide, confronting injustice in local justice departments, and improving the economy.
While Jones was being sworn in as the 47th Mayor of St. Louis, she stated, “I am not naive in my pursuit of progressive public policy,” adding, “I am aware that I am walking into an office that is tasked with working to solve some of our most pressing challenges: lack of opportunity for our most vulnerable, a broken criminal justice system, and a fractured reason. I ask for grace, as my team and I combat decades upon decades of disinvestment.”
When asked what she was most proud of accomplishing in her first 100 days as mayor, Jones answered the City’s budget and moral documents that have been passed.
Jones signed Executive Order #1 which requires the Internal Affairs Division at the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) and the Civilian Oversight Board to use a joint complaint form with hopes of strengthening police accountability and management of citizens complaints regarding correctional misconduct.
She also signed the CROWN Act into law, prohibiting race-based hair discrimination in the workplace, furthering her efforts to create a more equitable and inclusive community.
Mayor Jones and Congresswoman Corey Bush visited St. Louis City jails in April after several riots broke out at the Justice Center downtown. Since then, she has defunded the Medium Corrections Facility (Workhouse) and has transferred all of the detainees to CJC.
She hopes the repairs and upgrades made to the facility will ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of both the detainees and staff.
Jones said the best part about being Mayor is connecting with the people of St. Louis and listening to their wants, needs, and vision for the city. For many, that includes a proper public safety plan.
Mayor Jones took office in the midst of a global pandemic. While attacking crime and homicide rates are high on her priority list, public health has stepped to the forefront. The delta-variant has caused an increase in COVID-19 related hospitalizes and sickness.
Last Friday, Mayor Jones and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced a mask mandate would be put back in place starting Monday, July 26 for all residents, vaccinated or not, until further notice.
Jones and Page have received backlash for the decision, but she’s not backing down. With nearly a decade of experience working in hospitals, a master’s degree in health administration, and guidance from the St. Louis pandemic task force, she says this is what needs to be done.
“We didn’t just make this decision because we want more power or because it was popular, we made this decision because it was the right thing to do for the health and safety of our residents,” Jones said.
Jones has called for paid time off for city employees to go and get vaccinated.
She also encouraged residents who have fallen behind on paying rent and utility bills during the pandemic to apply for financial assistance through a program called STL City ERA 1.
The pandemic has hit families hard and moving forward, she wants to ensure they can stay in their homes knowing many have been out of work or do not make enough income to provide for their families through these times.
Jones says she and her office are still working to get the $81 million Direct Relief Plan approved which will further assist with public health and safety needs.
The approved FY2022 budget includes funds to tackle root causes of crime in the area such as unemployment and mental health. Diversion programs will also be developed from the budget.
Ending our time with Madam Mayor Tishaura Jones, she said, “I take great pride in serving the city of St. Louis. This is my home. I feel like God called me to be a public servant, and I truly believe I was made for such a time as this.”
St. Louisans can expect Jones to present a blueprint for crime and safety. She will allow residents to give their input.
Jones also stressed the importance of getting the $81 million direct relief plan approved to provide assistance to residents while we work our way out of the pandemic.