Ferguson Report Update: Progress Made, But Much Work Remains

Only 5 of 47 "priority" recommendations have been fully achieved.

Brett Blume
August 08, 2018 - 11:50 am

(KMOX/Brett Blume)

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FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOX) - Three years after the landmark report from the Ferguson Commission was released, there's a long way to go to achieve all of the gains laid out by the document.

Those findings were released Wednesday in a nearly year-long study by the group Forward Through Ferguson.

The report called "State of the Report: Tracking the Ferguson Commission's Calls to Action" is being referred to as an accountability tool that measures progress toward goals laid out by the commission three years ago.

"We're seeing marked improvement in the region's muscle for authentically engaging in racial equity work," according to Forward Through Ferguson Executive Director Yinka Faleti. "The commitment, the understanding and the momentum have grown substantially in the past three years."

However, he was quick to add that despite some gains, problem persist.

"There's a lack of understanding and commitment to equity by many leaders throughout this region," Faleti warned. "And we see state politics that fly in the face of the very recommendations of the esteemed Ferguson commission."

The report tracks implementation of the 47 "signature" priority policy changes out of the 189 issued by the commission in 2015.

Forward Through Ferguson found that while all 47 of those recommendations had some level of active implementation efforts, only five have been fully achieved.

The study blamed a lack of robust investment in racial equity and counter-productive, sometimes hostile, state politics for the lagging progress.

The fragmentation of St. Louis government was also identified as a structural barrier to changing the system.

Rich McClure with the United Way of Greater St. Louis, who co-chaired the Ferguson Commission, said despite the continuing roadblocks, it was important to take time to recognize the gains that have been made since the original report.

"A racial equity lens is gradually replacing rose-colored glasses and blinders," he insisted. "But we cannot settle for a region where some thrive and some do not."

The new report was issued one day before the fourth anniverary of Michael Brown's shooting death, which touched off riots in Ferguson and helped lead to the establishment of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The full report can be seen here.

The first of three town hall meetings to outline strategies going forward is slated for Thursday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. at the Indian Trails County Library.