Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington went before the community to give her third State of the City address Thursday evening.

Mayor Washington spoke about themes such as “unity” and “stronger together” throughout her address. She said when she came into office, she saw division throughout the city. She also said that there were very few threads of unity in the city and that she felt the need to pull this city together. Mayor Washington also brought up her support for a piece of legislation that will go before the Pine Bluff City Board on Monday. Her “Ban the Box” aims to eliminate the “convicted felon” question on city job applications. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be a background check. It just means that the city will get more applications from people. “We have to give people a second chance”, says Mayor Washington. 33 states and over 150 communities in the country including Pulaski County have already adopted this practice.

Mayor Washington also made a big announcement toward the end of her speech. She says she will be seeking another term as Pine Bluff’s mayor. Her announcement brought a standing ovation as the audience showed support for her decision to run for another term as mayor. She is the first person to announce candidacy for the 2020 election.