Sybrina Fulton, Geneva Reed-Veal, Lucy McBath, Gwen Carr, Cleopatra Pendleton, Maria Hamilton, Lezley McSpadden and Wanda Johnson from Mothers of the Movement speak during the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Tuesday, July 26, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
A quick Google search reveals the fact that Lesley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown, the young man whose death in August 2014 helped ignite the “Black Lives Matter” movement, was running for a seat on the Ferguson City Council was covered by numerous national news outlets. Oddly, this story wasn’t widely covered locally. The first I heard of it was a brief blurb yesterday (on Election Day) — and I’m a regular consumer of local news, particularly of the political variety.
I’ll be honest, as a native St. Louisan, Ferguson is still a very sore subject. What happened in (and to) Ferguson — and the St. Louis area as a whole — as a result of Brown’s shooting and the upheaval that followed was heartbreaking. And the reverberations of that are still being felt.
What prompted McSpadden to run?
McSpadden explained why she was running in an interview with The Associated Press: “I wanted to go back and do something right in a place that did something so very wrong to my son, and I think that’s what my son would want as well.”
I expect there are many who don’t share Ms. McSpadden’s view as to who was wronged in the now infamous confrontation between Brown and Officer Darren Wilson. Nevertheless, she did lose her son and if that experience has inspired her to seek public office, then I don’t begrudge her that.
Lesley McSpadden finished third in a three-way race in Ferguson’s 3rd Ward. Unofficial St. Louis County election results show the winner was Fran Griffin. The race also featured Keith Kallstrom, the incumbent.
“I congratulate Fran on her victory. I feel proud of the positive race we ran, and I loved talking to the Ferguson community,” McSpadden said late Tuesday night in an emailed statement. “Tomorrow, the work continues and I intend to be a part of it no matter my position. I’m not going anywhere.”
Whatever their thoughts on the Michael Brown shooting, it appears the citizens of Ferguson weren’t all that eager to have his mother sit on their City Council. No word yet on whether she intends to throw her hat into the 2020 Democratic primary.
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