Ferguson Missouri has seen a lot of turmoil in the last year for a small city. Most of that turmoil came in the aftermath of the shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer. Most Ferguson residents simply want to bring peace and healing to their community. Others it seems, still want a pound of flesh and then some.
An effort has been put in place by a group called Ground Level Support to recall Mayor James Knowles. The group has collected roughly 2200 signatures but still needs around 1800 more. Phil Gassaway, the head of Ground Level Support says, “We want someone in, no one in particular. Just someone who would be accountable to the people, that will do the right thing in the city of Ferguson.”
An important fact – when Knowles was first elected in April of 2011 a paltry 12% of voters turned out. In a city that is approximately 60% African-American, there is some math that needs to be done and the math says that Ferguson’s black residents did not much care about the mayoral race at a time when many of them will say the same problems occurring now were happening then in Ferguson. Would that not have been the perfect time to cast their votes for the candidates of their choice?
One of the chief complaints of those who have called for the ouster of Knowles and other city leaders has been that again, in a city that is predominantly black, all of those city leaders are white; and again, something that might have been easily remedied by not only black residents running for those offices, but also voter turnout. It is also very interesting to note that in a majority African-American city, and the fact that poll after poll show blacks voting Democrat almost 90% of the time in any election, be it local or national, James Knowles is a Republican.
No one, including James Knowles will say that everything was handled in the best way during a tense and difficult time, but could James Knowles’s biggest problem, at least for this group who wants “no one in particular” to be mayor, be that he is too white and too Republican?
The petitions were presented at this week’s city council meeting , and must be verified by the city clerk. Any recall election would be held right around the first anniversary of Michael Brown’s death.
Apparently that math has been done.
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