JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jackson-based community groups are hoping to offer residents a seat at the table amid the federal lawsuit concerning Jackson’s water quality.
The ongoing lawsuit brought forth by the U.S. government against the City of Jackson has brought the city closer to a sustainable, safe drinking water system.
Community leaders have filed to intervene in the lawsuit in order to ensure the residents are consulted while that work continues.
“We cannot afford another hiccup in fixing this water. We cannot, and so, that’s why it’s important that we be at the table,” said Danyelle Holmes, and organizer with the Mississippi Poor People’s Campaign.
The main goal of the intervention is transparency, as well as some other requests from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“We have requested that the EPA be a partner in providing water filters. We want the EPA to hold public meetings. We want the EPA to order the state and JXN Water to regularly publish monthly operating reports. This is an opportunity for us to work together,” said Rukia Lumumba, the executive director of the People’s Advocacy Institute.
Federal Judge Henry Wingate will decide whether to allow community members to join the lawsuit.
“Neither the federal government nor the city of Jackson opposes our client’s request to intervene. We hope that the court will swiftly grant the motion and allow our clients to fully participate as parties in this case,” said Mikaila Hernandez, a Bertha Justice Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights.