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First Black Mayor of Ferguson, MS

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Nationwide — Meet Ella M. Jones, who has been elected as the first African American mayor of the city of Ferguson, Missouri. She is also the city’s first female mayor. Ferguson was thrown into the national spotlight back in 2014 following the fatal police shooting of 18-year old Michael Brown and has been credited for sparking the national Black Lives Matter movement.

Jones, who was previously a councilwoman for the city, has been a Ferguson resident for more than 40 years. She graduated from the University of Missouri at St. Louis with a B.A. Degree in Chemistry. She was certified by the American Chemical Society as a high-pressure liquid chromatographer and completed training as a pharmacy technician.

Previously, Jones has worked for Washington University’s School of Medicine in the Biochemistry Molecular Biophysics Department, and KV Pharmaceutical Company as an Analytical Chemist. Before being elected to the Council, Ella completed training in municipal leadership from the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life at the University of Missouri at St. Louis. After being elected to the Council, Jones pursued additional education from the Municipal Governance Institute sponsored by the Missouri Municipal League and earned a certificate as a Municipal Official, and serving her second term on the Environmental, Energy And Sustainable Development Committee.

She is a member of the Boards of the Emerson Family YMCA and of the St. Louis MetroMarket, a decommissioned bus that was retrofitted as a mobile farmers market to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to underserved communities.

Jones is also the founder and Chairperson of Community Forward, Inc., a nonprofit community development organization. As a Council Member, she served as a council representative on the following commissions and boards: Human Rights, Traffic, Landmarks, Senior Citizens, Parks, and West Florissant Business Association.

She reportedly enjoys traveling, trout fishing, preparing New Orleans style cuisine, dancing, and power-shopping with her girlfriends.

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Politics

Fight Back Against Voter Suppression

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Rally at the TX Capitol this Saturday: Fight Back Against Voter Suppression

JOIN THE TEXAS POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN AND VDC OUTREACH THIS SATURDAY AT THE CAPITOL FOR A RALLY AGAINST VOTER SUPPRESSION (MASK Required). April 24, 2021, 100 W. 11th Street, Austin, TX 78201

A record number of voter suppression bills have been filed in Texas during the legislative session. These attempts to further voter suppression reflect a coordinated, nationwide effort to stifle the power of a multi-racial fusion movement to make democracy real for the 140 million poor and low-income people living in the U.S. 

The bills in the TX Legislature that pose the greatest threat to Texans are House Bill 6 (HB 6) and Senate Bill 7 (SB 7).  While slightly different in content, these bills aim to limit voting by restricting how and when people can vote. 

Read what’s in SB 7 here.

Read what’s in HB 6 here.

In response to HB 6 and SB 7 advancing through the Legislature, we will be having a rally at the Capitol to show lawmakers that we are paying attention and that we will not let our right to vote be stolen from us.

Special guest speakers include:

  • Charles O’Neal, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.
  • Dr. Shirley McKellar, Council member District 3, Tyler, TX
  • Dr. Jamal Randy Allen Rasheed, President / C.E.O Ellis County African American Hall of Fame Museum
  • Eric Williams, Dallas filmmaker who recently released “Finding Miriam
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Collective Bargaining Negotiations Extended

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City of San Antonio’s statement on collective bargaining negotiations with the San Antonio Police Officers Association

SAN ANTONIO (April 19, 2021) — Today, the City of San Antonio and the San Antonio Police Officers Association (SAPOA) agreed to extend collective bargaining negotiations. The parties agreed to a 15-day extension, which extends negotiations through May 12, 2021.

“We have made positive progress in these negotiations, but the arbitration process remains unresolved – that is our top disciplinary reform priority. We made our disciplinary priorities clear and known prior to beginning these negotiations,” said City Manager Erik Walsh. “It is not acceptable to have arbitrators undermine the Chief’s authority and force him to rehire officers that have been fired for egregious conduct. Allowing that to continue tarnishes the City, the San Antonio Police Department and our efforts to serve the public daily.”

“Our residents have voiced their priorities and asked us to seek substantial disciplinary changes for police officers. My Council colleagues and I are committed to making that the City’s top priority in these negotiations,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg.  

The City has negotiated in good faith and is willing to continue negotiations. 

“It is critically important to the San Antonio community that the police contract no longer protect and enable bad officers. The vast majority of San Antonio Police Officers do a tremendous job protecting and serving the community, and they deserve better,” said Deputy City Manager María Villagómez. 

The City of San Antonio’s negotiating team met with SAPOA 11 times since both parties agreed to negotiate in good faith. Both parties agreed at the start of the negotiations to meet and negotiate through at least April 19, 2021. 

More information about the collective bargaining agreement negotiations, including recordings of past sessions can be found here: https://www.sanantonio.gov/City-Attorney/CollectiveBargaining

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Where Will You Be For History?

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Wednesday, January 20, 2021 marks the day for the 59th Inaugural Ceremony. This historical event has been witnessed by Americans for over 200 years. The moment marks the transition of power for the President and Vice President of the United States. From the first Inauguration of George Washington, in New York City, in 1789, to the present, the 59th Inaugural Ceremonies, the Swearing-In Ceremonies represent both national renewal and continuity of leadership. Several Inaugurations have held great importance and significance including the swearing in of Barack Hussein Obama II, the 44th President of the United States, but what makes this year’s inauguration so remarkable? Well, as we reflect on the current time we are in; a divided nation where hate is at the forefront of the actions of many American citizens, COVID has devastated the population, historic election voting percentages have reigned, the inaugural events are closed to the public, and where gender and race have for far too long been the basis as to why some have been denied opportunities to fulfill “positions of power,” this milestone marks another step towards us becoming “one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.” Kamala Harris already made history when she was elected as the first Black and South Asian woman elected Vice President, however January 20, 2021 her role will be official and she will officially be Madame Vice President.

The ceremony traditionally begins with a procession to the capitol beginning about 11:00 ET. Harris will be sworn in first by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and Latina Justice appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States. (She was nominated by President Barack Obama.). Joe Biden will be sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts followed by remarks from both.

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