Mayor Tishaura Jones of St. Louis
Updated: Jun 24, 2021
Written by: Naeche (Anita) Ihenacho
Edited by : Frida Rodriguez
Missouri Girls State had an amazing opportunity to listen to our guest speaker Tishaura Oneda Jones on Monday afternoon. She became the first African American mayor of St. Louis on April 20th, 2021. She became the 47th person to hold this position. Mayor Jones was born in St. Louis Missouri to Laura and Virus Jones and she is their only child. She is a graduate of Hampton University which is a historic black college in Hampton Virginia where she earned a Bachelor of Science in finance degree. Mayor Jones is also the Master of Health Administration from St. Louis University of College for Public Health.
In 2002, Mayor Jones became involved in politics where she became the Central Committee for St. Louis eighth ward for the Democratic Party. Also, on November 4th, 2008 she was elected in the Missouri House of Representative after competing against Nels Williams who was an independent candidate. She held this position till 2013. In January 2013, she also became the first African American to hold the position of treasure.
During this time with her involvement in politics, Mayor Jones was also navigating parenthood. She gave birth to her son in 2007. The birth of her son was something that became her reason and purpose to continue pursuing her political career even when she had some failures at times, especially as a black woman, but she was able to persevere through.
During our meeting, she discussed some of the key attributes in her success as she has gone through life and figuring out the boiling points in America, and working to speak upon those issues. Mayor Jones believes in using power to lead and not willing to submerge into something your values and ethics do not stand for even if you may feel pressured by society.
When discussing some of the things she is looking forward to as mayor, she discussed the goal to invest 500 million dollars in communities and putting the public back into public safety. When asked about her role in helping women previously, she discussed a fund to help support dads who have fallen short on child support. This money goes to the mother who is taking care of their child. Listening to Mayor Jones speak upon the plans she has was very encouraging to many of us women who may wish to hold a leadership position in our communities and cities. She also spoke about racial injustice and other prevalent issues that continue to hold us back as a state in providing care and opportunity for everyone regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.
Understanding that she had her doubts, but was unwilling to let those factors disrupt her from pushing herself and proving all those who looked down on her wrong was very empowering. She surrounds herself with people who push her above her limits and her son who humbles her because she values their inputs and understands that she can always learn from them.
During her closing statements, she was asked to advise her younger self. This advice included being your most authentic self every day, regardless of all the pressures that you may face because people can tell if you're not being your true self. Not to mention, since 2012, Mayor Jones has helped St. Louis be able to earn and save more than $30 million which is quite amazing. She is a woman with courage, integrity, compassion, and resilience that emulates where ever she goes. This is Mayor Tishaura Oneda Jones.
Additional Information From:
This was during our live zoom session with Mayor Jones during our assembly meeting this Monday June 21, 2021.