It worked. The protests, voter education and the shedding of the blood of an innocent have changed the power structure in Ferguson, Missouri. The first municipal elections since the killing of unarmed teen Michael Brown occurred April 7, and despite severe weather, voter turnout doubled. In previous elections only 12.3 percent of registered voters turned out, this election saw that number swell to 29.4 percent.
For Ferguson, a town of 21,000 residents, 16,000 of whom are Black, it means a change in the all-important city council. The council had five White and one Black member and was disproportionate to the population of the city. Now with the election of Black residents Wesley Bell and Ella Jones the council has three White and three Black members. This new council will have the task of hiring replacements for critical positions in city government that were left open after a blistering Department of Justice report. In the wake of the report, many top-level administrators such as the Ferguson police chief resigned from office. In addition, the oppressive and possibly unconstitutional operation of the Ferguson Municipal Court system will undergo changes as well.