ST. LOUIS, Mo. – St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones will soon become the first Black woman to become mayor of the City of St. Louis.
She declared victory Tuesday night approximately 3 hours after the polls closed.
“It’s time to bring a breath of fresh air to our neighborhoods,” Jones said.
Supporters gathered on the parking lot of the Omega Center located on Goodfellow Boulevard in the northwest area of the city. Jones promised to address needs in a part of the city she feels has been neglected.
“North St. Louis is going to be a priority for me because I believe one of the reasons why we have so much crime is our children and young people have no hope,” Jones said. She said children in the north part of the city see abandoned buildings, trash, and no economic development.
“It’s time to change their environment,” Jones said. “It’s also time to connect assets with people and then make sure that we have workforce opportunities for people not only to survive but to thrive.”
Jones also told supporters she will speak out whenever she sees discrimination in any form. She said her other priorities are to replace the city’s public safety director who recently resigned and develop a plan to spend federal relief dollars. Jones promised input from citizens will help determine how the COVID relief money will be spent.
She also said addressing recent riots at the city jail will be a priority.
“Riots becoming the norm in our jails is unacceptable and we have to hold some people accountable,” Jones said.
Mayor Lyda Krewson announced in November that she would not be seeking a second term in office. The city’s first female mayor is 68-years-old. She said that after 19 years as an alderwoman, and four years as mayor, it was time to move on.
“Congratulations to Mayor-elect Tishaura Jones! I am rooting for your success. My Administration and I are prepared to make this as smooth a transition as possible,” writes Krewson on Twitter.
“It’s my huge honor to be the first woman Mayor of St. Louis. Many future mayors will be women. The comments about pearls, hairstyles, and whether it’s mayoral to carry a purse, will all fade away. I have never been more hopeful that women everywhere, including our great new vice president-elect, will completely shatter that glass ceiling,” Krewson previously stated.
Since 2015 Cara Spencer has represented the city’s 20th ward. The area includes the neighborhoods of Dutchtown, Marine Villa, and Gravois Park.
The candidates debated on FOX 2 in March.
“At the core of my campaign is a simple belief that you should be able to succeed here regardless of your skin color, who you love, how you worship, your zip code, or any identity you hold,” Jones said in her opening statement.
“St. Louis is in the fight of its life, we need a leader who will meet this moment of both crisis and opportunity, not with divisiveness, but with grit, unity and hope,” Spencer said in her opening statement.
Krewson mentioned the pandemic, racial unrest, and the high murder rate as some of the challenges of her term. She said she is rooting for the next mayor of St. Louis, whoever that may be, and did not make an endorsement.