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Alumni breaking political barriers

(L-R) State Rep. Jeffery Hall and Mayor Mildred Ferguson.

Two Grambling State University alumni won big in the midterm elections both securing the mayor position in Alexandria and Bernice, La.
State Rep. Jeffrey Hall (D-Alexandria) won mayor elect for the town of Alexandria and will become the first black man to serve in this position. Mildred Ferguson, of Bernice, also won a mayoral election and will become the first black woman mayor for the Town of Bernice.

Both are very active members of their community with decades dedicated in service of others and building up their respective communities.

Hall studied accounting at Grambling State University.

Hall served as the chairman in the Greater Alexandria Economic Development Authority (GAEDA) and the Alexandria Central Economic Developmental District (ACEDD).  Hall had served as a trustee of the board at Rapides Hospital.

Hall seeks to revitalize the town.

“Alexandria, Louisiana, is in a perfect position for an economic revitalization. With the busy interstate, growing river port, numerous rail connections and an impressive airport, there is no reason for the economic slump afflicting the area,” Hall said, according to The Town Talk.

Hall has served as the state representative for district 26 since 2015. He was unsuccessful in a previous run for mayor. Alexandria has not elected a mayor in over a decade.

“I love doing what I’m doing right now, but I still see a tremendous amount to do in the community I live in,” said Hall on local Alexandria station KALB. “I think we can make some differences and I think we will make some differences if it’s God’s will that I go in.”

Ferguson received undergraduate degrees in political science and later in elementary education at which time she became a certified teacher. “I had been a member of the city council for a number of years and I just thought, ‘why not?’” said Ferguson. “I loved engaging in politics and community service.” She went on to earn a master’s degree in elementary education from Grambling as well.

Ferguson has spent her life working in Union Parish as a teacher, administrator and director of student affairs for 39 years. Her service also extends into the community as she mentored new teachers and was an assessor for the Teaching Evaluation Program. Ferguson was the president of the Union Parish Association of Classroom Teachers during that time. “Promote community involvement. Beautification and economic improvement”said Ferguson, referring to her campaign promises.

Ferguson is a devote Christian with helping in coordinating community and church tutorials at her local church. She also volunteers in helping her church’s food bank program, (Christian Association Union). “We have a lot of improvements and beautification projects we want to do to our town. I want to work on moving more businesses into town.”continued Ferguson.