FERGUSON, Mo. -- Brian Fletcher, a former mayor of Ferguson, Missouri, who launched a successful campaign to help businesses affected by community unrest in 2014, has died, the city said in a statement. Fletcher, 56, died late Sunday.
Fletcher served as mayor of the largely African-American city from 2005 to 2011, and during that time oversaw the revitalization of a portion of the downtown area. Fletcher, a whose political career lasted 28 years, had retired from AT&T. While employed there, he served as vice president of a local chapter of Communications Workers of America.
Three years later after Fletcher's tenure as mayor, the city was rocked by protests following the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager who was shot by a white Ferguson police officer. During demonstrations over the treatment of blacks in the region, rioters destroyed many businesses.
Fletcher tried to serve downtown businesses by launching the “I Love Ferguson” campaign. The campaign sold T-shirts, hats and other items with the phrase “I Love Ferguson” printed on them to raise $130,000, which was donated to businesses affected by the unrest.
Last year, Fletcher was elected as Ferguson’s Ward 2 councilman.
“As recently as last week he helped provide more than 200 new coats for area students, including many that would not have had one otherwise,” said city spokesman Jeff Small.
Ferguson Mayor James Knowles said in a statement that Fletcher was the “true champion of the city of Ferguson.”
“Brian worked tirelessly and selflessly to bring people together in the spirit of a shared love for our community,” said Knowles.
Fletcher leaves behind a wife and two daughters, the city said in its statement.
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