JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba talked about why firework shows are no longer feasible for the budget during a news conference on Monday, May 16.
City Councilmembers believe the money that would have been used for the Juneteenth and July 4th fireworks shows would be better used for public safety. The councilmembers said the city needs to prioritize where the money is being spent, like addressing the crime crisis or maintaining public parks.
According to Lumumba, people need to have an expansive view on what public safety looks like. He noted it’s more than just paying police officers, but the city should also create an environment that engages young people in a positive manner.
“We’re trying to give them an alternative. To love on them, because if we don’t love on them, someone else will. They may not have the same desires for our city that we do. We think of that as important. I think it’s also important that we watch the statement. We’re making in a city which is 85% Black, in a nation that just declared Juneteenth as a national holiday, for us to fail to celebrate Juneteenth,” said Lumumba.
The mayor later explained the context on why the fireworks show is no longer feasible for the City of Jackson. He said the city currently has a depleted reserve due to having to pay emergency sanitation fees.
Lumumba noted there will be tough conversations about how the city will cut corners. He also said the decision to not have fireworks will not save the police department or stop crime in the city.