City hosting cleanup event ahead of Medgar Evers commemoration

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 2:27 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A major cleanup is expected to get under way early next month as the city of Jackson gears up to mark the assassination of civil rights leader Medgar Evers.

From June 3 to June 7, Jackson will be partnering with other groups to clean up the property surrounding Evers’ home, as well as Medgar Evers Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said the cleanup is important as “the eyes of the world” turn to Jackson to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Evers’ death.

“They know that this is our native son, that this is a hero whose presence and work has brought a lot of people into knowledge of Jackson... So, we want to put on this event not only for the residents of Jackson [and] those who are visiting, but to be a proper tribute to his life and legacy,” he said.

The city is partnering with several groups, including Keep Jackson Beautiful and Central Mississippi Realtors to make the cleanup happen.

“Working together, pooling resources, we can make a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of our community,” said Sterling McCool, first vice-president of the Realtors’ association, adding that he hopes people will “join forces for the common goal of cleaning up.”

Lumumba said Central Mississippi Realtors had about 50 volunteers already signed up to help.

However, Alicia Crudup with Keep Jackson Beautiful says more is needed.

“As the mayor stated, this is just one of our projects to continue the campaign for ‘Stop Trashing Jackson,’” the executive director said. “We will have some upcoming events over the next two months, and we will need all volunteers, all hands on deck, to help us clean up this beautiful city that we live in.”

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The mayor, meanwhile, highlighted other steps the city is taking to address illegal dumping and littering.

He pointed to the city recently recognizing a JPD officer for arresting individuals in an illegal dumping case. The mayor also pointed to the city’s efforts to close off streets that have become illegal dumping sites.

Crews were recently out cleaning up Hilda Drive. The Ward 2 street between West County Line Road and Forest Avenue Extension has been a problem for years.

“We’re looking at tools of how we better enforce, but we have to change a culture,” he said. “We have to make certain that far fewer people choose to do this.”

“If there are one or two people dumping and we can catch them, then they have a problem. But when there’s a culture which is pervasive, then we all have a problem.”

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