Romona Taylor Williams, Metro St. Louis Coalition for Inclusion and Equity (MSLICE)

On protesting:

It has given the black community encouragement. I think it has given the black community a sense of dignity. A sense of place where they did not have any place. What the protestors did here was remarkable for this area. The community here had not been accustomed to resistance. It’s just been they’re going along to get along or being relegated to a place of invisibility. The protestors took to move the black community here from invisible to visible.

On political representation:

I think it will invigorate the preparation of new leadership. We can change bodies and have the same issues and problems. Absolute power still corrupts absolutely. I think there needs to be a dismantling of the political dynasty structure here. It’s an institution. It needs to be demolished. It is going to require preparing new leaders. We need to build leaders here. Attract different people. We need new blood. The conditions are screaming for new visionary and innovative leadership. There is a place for everybody. Politicians are just politicians until they get elected. Then they are policy makers. Then they are law makers. We need to look to it from a different perspective from that point. I’d love to see qualified and capable young people consider public service as a career option. It is very important. We don’t need the whole cake. What’s wrong with me wanting better sidewalks? If they think that I want the same sidewalks in my community and that’s me trying to be better, then damn right lets get better.

Ferguson Is…A microcosm of a greater problem in the macro St. Louis region.