JACKSON, MS -
Mayor Chokwe Lumumba was born in 1947 in Detroit, Michigan as Edwin Finley Taliaferro, a name he referred to as his ‘slave name.’He changed his name in 1969 in honor of an African tribe that resisted slavery centuries ago.
He moved to Jackson in 1971 as a human rights activist.In 1991, he earned his license to practice law.He became a well-known human rights and criminal defense attorney.
Lumumba recently helped free the Scott sisters and successfully defended the late recording artist Tupac Shakur.
Mayor Lumumba was sworn into office July 1, 2013.He defeated incumbent Mayor Harvey Johnson, Jr.Then, he beat Jonathan Lee in a runoff with more than three-thousand votes.He vowed to turn Jackson into a world class city.
"We need to focus on moving Mississippi to worst to first," commented Lumumba.
Lumumba appointed Lyndsey Horton as Jackson’s new police chief and Willie Owens as the city's new fire chief.
"We are going to create peace in the streets, unity in the community, and stop the violence. That our motto and were going to stick to it," said Lumumba.
According to FBI statistics, Jackson was ranked among the most dangerous cities in the nation.
"To go to each community and to try to tackle crime where the centers of it exist, and what we mean by that is we're going to try and make them a little better prepared," Lumumba told News Channel 12.
Lumumba also focused on making the Capital City healthier, greener and cleaner.His initiatives included promoting fresh food and city clean-up days.
"To build the economy of Jackson, to improve the appearance of Jackson and to do it all with one city, one aim, one goal, one destiny in mind," stated Lumumba.
Last month, he celebrated as citizens passed the one-percent sales tax.The increase is expected to bring in 15-million dollars each year to fund repair strategies for Jackson’s water infrastructure, which recently has been plagued by boil water notices and water main breaks.