Residents describe state of city ahead of Mayor’s annual address

Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 9:52 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - An overwhelming majority of Jackson residents were clear about one thing: their desire for change prior to Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba’s annual “State of the City” address.

Specifically, residents want change with the capital city’s infrastructure.

“When you have businesses leaving because of the different water crises and you have streets that nobody wants to drive on because they tear up their vehicle.... those are things that cause people to go elsewhere,” Jackson resident Bernard Smith said.

For many, the thing holding the city back from change, in their opinion, is the divide between a Democratic mayor and Republican governor.

“If they can work together and get things straightened out for the people, it would be a whole lot better for everybody,” Jackson native Tony Smith said.

“Both sides have good ideas. Let’s not get this twisted. There are good ideas on both sides,” Smith said. “But if you use a party line to divide it, you’re not going to get anything done.”

Smith, a 20-year Jackson resident, said he doesn’t blame Mayor Lumumba for all the city’s issues. Many of them, he said, were inherited.

But he said it still doesn’t change the fact that residents of Mississippi’s capital city deserve better.

“There’s a lot of things that have to be dealt with, and we want a quick fix. But there are none. It’s too far gone for a quick fix. We’ve got to be patient,” Smith said. “But when it comes to water, you know, that’s kind of a horse of a different color. It’s kind of hard to be patient when you’re drinking brown water, when you can’t even drink the water, and when you don’t want to even take a bath in it.”

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