News / Society

Ferguson Voter Registration Surges After Michael Brown's Death; Signifies Positive Change In Community And New Energy For Activism [PHOTO]

By Marisa Lewis | October 02, 2014 02:43 PM EDT

Voter registration in Ferguson, Missouri, has surged ever since a white police officer fatally shot black teenager Michael Brown. According to the Huffington Post, of the 4,839 people who registered to vote in St. Louis County, 3,287 are residents from Ferguson. The Ferguson city population is roughly 21,203 according to its last census.

Politics USA reports that since Brown's shooting, both established and new organizations have tried to bolster positive change in the community. There have been concentrated efforts to reach out to citizens in order to help them register to vote, and educating people about the voting process has also been made a priority.

This effort is seen as important, because while two-thirds of Ferguson's population is black, the mayor, over 90% of the police force, and five of the city council's six members are white. The town's school board has no black members, either.

St. Louis 3rd Ward Committeeman Anthony Bell stated, "It's a great move when people come out and register in mass like that...They are sending a signal that we want a change. It doesn't give justice to the Michael Brown family, but it will in the future give justice to how the administration is run in a local municipality like Ferguson."

Anthony Gray, an attorney who represents Brown's family, thinks that the mass voter registration could affect political change in the upcoming November elections. He commented, "It could completely change the political landscape, the power structure, [and] the decision making...the service to the African American community would almost quadruple because they would be viewed as a credible and legitimate voting block."

Meanwhile, community activism in Ferguson remains strong. Antonio French, a St. Louis city alderman, created HealSTL, which uses volunteers to set up voter registrations throughout Ferguson a daily basis. Other groups like Justice Core STL, Hands Up United, and Operation Help or Hush are also doing their best to get the word out.

Here's to hoping that the activists and demonstrators in Ferguson continue to make their voices heard.

Tagged :  Ferguson, Michael Brown, Missouri, voting, Voter Registration, shooting, HealSTL

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