FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- City council member Ella Jones was elected as the first African American mayor of Ferguson and spoke to News 4 about the history-making election.
"It says a lot about the people, the people made the choice and they chose me. And I'm willing to do the work," said Jones.
She is also the first woman to be elected mayor of the city. Her election made headlines in the New York Times and on CNN and she was mentioned in a tweet by former president Barack Obama.
Jones served as council member for Ward 1 for the last five years. She ran for office in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown and the civil unrest that followed. She was sworn in the following year, in 2015.
St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Wesley Bell served with Jones on the Ferguson city council before he became the first African American prosecutor in St. Louis County.
"It does serve as a reminder about voting. And if you truly want to change systems for the better and bring positive change, it has to start at the ballot box," said Bell.
According to her biography, Jones has lived in Ferguson for more than 40 years and graduated from the University of Missouri St. Louis.
This past weekend, the Ferguson police chief marched with protesters before rioters got violent and shot fireworks and threw rocks hurting seven police officers.
Among Jones priorities is helping to find financial help for repairs at businesses damaged by violent protesters. She said she also wants every resident to be tested for COVID-19.
"In the next 90 day I want to do a town hall so that everyone in Ferguson would know the state of Ferguson and just not a select few," said Jones.
Jones succeeds James Knowles who's served three terms as mayor but didn't run for re-election because of term limits.