Wesley Bell’s Shocking Victory is Major Win for Criminal Justice Reform Everywhere

St. Louis, Missouri. (August 7, 2018) — Following Wesley Bell’s upset victory in Tuesday’s Prosecuting Attorney primary election, Rashad Robinson, spokesperson for Color Of Change PAC, the political action committee of the nation’s largest online racial justice group, issued the following statement:

“While Wesley Bell’s victory may come as a shock to many around the country, it’s no surprise to the Color Of Change PAC or to many in the Black community. This ousting of a 27-year incumbent shows the country what Black voters have demonstrated for decades — that we demand to be heard and that we will make criminal justice reform a ballot-box issue in 2018 and beyond.”

“Bell campaigned on a platform of community safety and fair justice that resonated with the voters of St. Louis County. He promised to fight mass incarceration, eliminate wrongful convictions, and bring transparency and community trust to a Prosecuting Attorney’s office that for too long has stood in the way of justice. Today, nearly four years to the day of Michael Brown’s murder in Ferguson, the voters of St. Louis County made clear that they would no longer accept the status quo, and elected Wesley Bell. Prosecutors around the nation should hear that as a wakeup call.”

“This win would not have been possible without the incredible work of local partners at Organization for Black Struggle, Missouri Faith Voices, St Louis Action Council and Working Families Party, and the support of 8,000 local Color Of Change PAC members. Color Of Change PAC launched a massive mobilization effort with a large highway billboard announcing our endorsement for Wesley Bell. Throughout the course of this campaign, we sent over 95,000 texts to voters, opened our first-ever field office, hosted two block parties, had thousands of in-person conversations, delivered direct mail straight to voters, and reached over 200,000 voters in St. Louis County with our digital advertisements.

“Tonight’s victory is a powerful rejection of Bob McCulloch, 27-year incumbent, and his decision not to pursue justice in the communities he was elected to serve. With this victory, voters took a stand toward a St. Louis County that respects and honors the lives of all residents. Voters made a decision that they needed a fresh new start. This was a major win for grassroots organizing, and proof that issues that affect the Black community are winning issues at the ballot box.

“With Wesley Bell’s victory, Color Of Change PAC looks forward to a safer and more transparent future for St. Louis County and will remain energized and engaged in the fight for a more fair and equal criminal justice system for all Americans.”