FERGUSON, MO. - The nation's attention is returning to Ferguson this week. People around the world were waiting to see how thousands of people would vote in last night's mayoral election.
In the past few years, so much has changed inside Ferguson City Hall and in the streets surrounding it, but one thing has remained the same. That's the man who has held the spot as mayor. After last night, he'll remain in that spot for another three years.
Cries for change echoed at the site of Michael Brown's shooting, in front of the Ferguson Police Department and in the streets outside a church at the center of it all. Reverend Tommie Pierson has served there for decades.
"We had a chance to vote change and we didn't take advantage of it," he said.
Pierson helped lead Ella Jones' campaign to take over as mayor.
"Did Ferguson have enough hurt or enough disappointment in it, and courage to stand up and say 'I'm going to go to the polls and vote change?' It did not in this election," he said.
A little more than 3,700 people voted Tuesday night, out of the more than 12,000 registered. Of those voters, 57 percent of them chose incumbent mayor James Knowles. A fact, Knowles said, proves he was the most qualified.
"We have to make sure we don't repeat errors of the past," Knowles said Tuesday night, "and I think a lot of that comes with experience."
And while the name on the his desk will remain the same, he said the change he's started will continue.
"I truly believe people will continue to come together," he said. "Those lines will fade away and we'll hopefully achieve that strong diverse community we've always sought here in the City of Ferguson."
But that vision is very far in the distance, according to some community leaders.
So now, they're turning their attention to education. Teaching those using their voices to use their votes.
"Too many people don't understand that," Pierson said. "They would rather protest than vote. There's nothing wrong with protest, I encourage protesting, but protesting does not solve our problems."
© 2017 KSDK-TV