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Tishaura Jones urges backers to keep working for mayoral victory

ELLENDALE – In one of city Treasurer Tishaura Jones’ last rallies before the election, she spoke of some words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

“He often talks about the fierce urgency of now,” she told about 50 people Friday at a socially distanced event at 6780 Southwest Avenue. “And I can’t think of any more moment that’s more urgent than right now.”

” I think that St. Louis has been through a lot,” she said. “And we don’t, we don’t have time to go any further down.”

Volunteers and elected officials who support Jones spaced themselves apart with masks on as Jones urged them to keep working hard a few days longer.

“It’s been a long day, long week.” said Jones, who opposes 20th Ward Alderwoman Cara Spencer in Tuesday’s general election, “I’ve been through rough elections before about me.”

Then Jones spoke about her own experience and what she would do to turn the city around. 

“We’re losing population,” she noted. “We’ve been losing population at a steady clip since the turn of the 20th century. And it’s time for that to stop. The disinvestment of communities north of Delmar has been intentional. And done by previous administrations, one of which is supporting my opponent,” Jones asserted.

 “We have to call that out. We can’t ignore that we cannot go back to that time, we cannot go back to the ’80s. And the ’90s. we made deliberate decisions to abandon north St. Louis and parts of south St. Louis, you can’t go back to that time. But what we can do is prepare St. Louis to tackle the 21st century.”

Jones said spending the $500 million the city will get for COVID-19 relief would take a person with experience such as hers. 

“We don’t have time for leadership that has to learn on the job. We don’t have time for leadership that has to build relationships with our county executive, with our county prosecutor, with our elected officials to the east of us,” she said. 

The faithful also heard from one of Jones’ strongest supporters, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell.

“This is like they teach you in track: You don’t run to the finish line, you run through the finish line,” Bell said.  

“We need someone who has an understanding of all these issues, someone who’s going to work collaboratively. When we have issues that happen in the county, one of the first people that will be calling me, texting me, will be Tishaura. And so she’s not going to have to build relationships, those relationships.” 

Eighth Ward Alderwoman Annie Rice said Jones’ experience would help her as mayor. “That type of political experience is incredible and is necessary because if the mayor is going to be intersectional, she has to work from the top on down from the governor all the way on down to the everyday people,” Rice said. 

Those at the event included Brandon Michaels, who lives in the Shaw neighborhood.

“She has the experience, the skills and the knowhow more than anybody else who’s running, and I feel that she can actually move the city in a positive direction,” Michaels said.   

On Saturday morning, the Jones campaign held a rally and canvass launching at AmVets Post 67 at 5022 San Francisco Avenue. The guest speakers included Mayor Quinton Lucas of Kansas City. 

Jim Merkel

southsidemerkel@gmail.com Born and raised in the St. Louis area, Jim Merkel covered communities throughout the area from 1991 to 2013 for the old Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis. He is the author of five books about the Gateway City published by Reedy Press. The latest is Growing Up St. Louis: Looking Back Through the Decades. He and his wife, Lorraine, live in the Bevo Mill neighborhood of south St. Louis with Miss Jenny the Cat. For more about Jim, visit www.jimmerkelthewriter.com.

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