Ella Jones: Highlights for the Second Half of the First Year

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Editor’s note: Out of respect for the mayor, we are publishing this as it was submitted to us, without edit or comment.

January 2021 – June 2021

It has been a year and I am still excited about serving the residents of Ferguson.  With all of the community’s challenges, there is not a better community to live, work and play in. Here is the second half of my first year as mayor.

Highlights:

Mercy Community Advisory Meetings held every month

Metro Mayors Meeting every month focused on issues concerning COVID-19 Vaccine Sites, CARES Act

County Executive responded to the memo received from City Manager, Jeff Blume, regarding various challenges in Ferguson

Meeting with Chief Armstrong and Jeff Blume concerning traffic

Housing Task Force meeting with Urban League, St. Louis City and St. Louis County

North County Inc. (NCI), Mayors Collaborative cohort meeting

Bi-weekly meetings for COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance Community Outreach with Rochelle Walton-Gray, BSPA Coordinator

January 2021

  • Received and responded to citizens’ calls regarding their concerns and possible solutions for their concerns on various Ferguson related issues
  • Involved in many meetings with city staff members, regarding Canfield Green Apartments, which was sold to an investor from the east coast
  • Participated with city staff members in a meeting regarding North Winds’ apartment, which was sold to an investor
  • Oakmont Townhouses are under contract with possible new owners
  • Engaged in ongoing conversations with Dr. Summers, while awaiting the grand opening of the new Nursing Facility at 800 Chambers Road
  • Participated in discussion with Councilman Fry and Councilwoman Griffin concerning the closing of streets in Ward 3 that was implemented by Jennings 
  • Participated in Task Force Meetings
  • Attended Boundary Committee meeting with Missouri Municipal League
  • Coordinated with Denise Duncan-Blomberg  and Councilwoman Nelson the 3rd Annual MLK Day of Service for the Samaritans Feet Give-a-Way, located at the Emerson Family YMCA.  Volunteers, including  principals and teachers from school districts serving Ferguson and elected officials, prepared 500 Hope Bags for students in grades K-6 and delivered to each school. 
  • Fergson’s Staff and Jennings Staff held a meeting with St. Louis County Public Works concerning road closers which affected the residents and traffic flow.  The achieved solution was that the barriers will remain due to less speeding traffic, shots fired, and crime.
  • Participated in Food Insecurity meeting with Tiffany Brewer, Program Manager with Earth Dance, and others
  • Participated as panelist for National Network for Women Mayors on Imposture Syndrome
  • Instrumental in sending a letter to County Executive, Sam Paige  concerning multiple emails from citizens addressing speeding and reckless driving on Elizabeth
  • County Executive Dr. Sam Page responded to the Memo Jeff Blume and I sent to concerning the roadway repairs to Elizabeth.  Results: Elizabeth will  undergo major repairs in 2023.

February 2021

  • Responded to citizens calls about their challenges
  • Engaged in a conversation with Chancellor Kristin Sobolik of UMSL regarding internships in Ferguson
  • Participated in the RAISE Grant (formerly known as BUILD Grant) meetings and video for grant submission
  • Panelist for RACE: Listen- Learn – Live Program

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efcoaupecCg

  • Participated in meetings held to discuss option of whether to open Suburban to Hanley Rd
  • A panelist for the Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville,  Visibly Invisible: The Sociopolitical Reality of Black Women
  • A panelist for the Race and Justice Imperative Summit for the Hill Virtual Program sponsored by Alexion
  • Appeared with County Executive Dr. Sam Page to give remarks for the opening of the first Vaccine Site in North County at the Florissant Valley Community College
  • Recipient of the Webster University’s Champion for All Award

March 2021

  • Addressed concerns of the citizens
  • Participated in meeting with City Manager concerning a Pandemic Relief Program for staff
  • Participated in discussion with St. Louis County declaring Juneteenth a holiday and engaged in similar discussion with Ferguson
  • St. Louis County replied to Chief Armstrong about the letter I sent in January concerning speeding traffic and reckless driving on Elizabeth Ave. Results: Chief Armstrong made a report of the study during Council meeting.  Here is an excerpt from the report: “The speed date reveals a lower percent of speeders traveling greater than 5MPH over posted speed on Elizabeth Ave.  Comparatively speaking, and Elizabeth Ave has the smallest difference between comfortable travel speed (85th percentile) and posted speed.”  Christopher Hauber, Traffic Studies Project Manager
  • Interviewed on Fox 2’s The Pulse of St. Louis by Shirley Washington, Anchor/Reporter as a recipient of the 2021 Champion for All Award, Webster University, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conference
  • Held first meeting with Fire Chief John Hampton, Acting Interim City Manager on March 11, 2021
  • Participated in meeting with John Hampton, Acting Interim City Manager, Don Boyce, Public Works Director, and Weis Design Group to evaluate the city’s roadways 

April 2021

  • Addressed citizens’ concerns within a timely manner
  • Due to car break-ins, asked police to increase patrol in neighborhoods
  • Participated in CARES Act meeting
  • Participated in American Rescue Plan Act meetings
  • North County Inc. regional concerns: I- 270 Construction, Economic Development, Trash, Mental Health, Public Safety and Infrastructure
  • Weis Design Group installed traffic counters in Ferguson Woods and on St. Louis Ave
  • Attended, along with the National Guard, the opening of the COVID-19 Vaccine Site in Dellwood
  • Held meeting with City Manager and James Heard, Area Director of Housing and Urban Development, to explore Senior Living housing and possible funding with tax credits,  the Section 202 Grant, Community Development Block Grant funds and more
  • Participated in Home Depot meeting to discuss police substation
  • Public Works increasing street repairs
  • Participated as panelist for Emerson YMCA’s North American YMCA Development Organization;  Program Topic: Anti-Racist YMCA How They Are Called to Served?

May 2021

  • Returned phone Calls, emails and text from residents
  • Participated in meetings with potential developers for grocery store and senior affordable housing
  • Participated in meeting concerning traffic flow on N. Florissant Road
  • Continuing to work with John Hampton, Acting City Manager and Don Boyce, Public Works Director on major street repairs

June 2021

  • Returned phone calls emails and text from residents
  • Presented the Outstanding Citizens Award  to several Ferguson citizens for the volunteer work they done in the community during COVID-19
  • Participated in meeting with Governor Parson’s aid on the infrastructure
  • Participated in Apartment Managers’ Meeting
  • Attended 2 Juneteenth events:  The 2nd Annual Human Rights Commission event at Earth Day and the event at the 501 Plaza (*Note:  The 501 Plaza event is where the Honorable Betty Thompson delivered her final speech.  She passed away on July 11, 2021)

Thank you, citizens of Ferguson, for giving me an opportunity to share my year’s work with you.

Thank you,

Mayor Ella Jones