JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba delivered the 2021 State of the City Address on Tuesday, October 26.
The mayor talked about many topics, including crime, COVID-19, infrastructure and the city’s water. He said when it comes to these issues the city faces, real change doesn’t come overnight.
“We believe that it’s better to take small steps in the right direction than giant leaps in the wrong direction,” Lumumba stated.
Jackson is currently seven homicides away from breaking the 2020 record, which was 130 homicides.
In his address, Lumumba discussed the initiatives the administration has in place to combat crime. He does not plan to defund the police, Instead, he wants to raise the base salary for graduating officers. The mayor also wants federal and state funding to provide officers with better equipment, and he proposed a ban on open carry.
“I’m not smart enough to solve Jackson’s problems by myself. I’m not resourced enough to solve Jackson’s problems my myself, and that’s why we want to create a big tent. I think that everyone feels inclusive and feels involved and feels a part in the decision making of our city,” he said.
When it comes to infrastructure, the Public Works Department will be restructured. Leaders are working on multiple long-term plans to update the city’s outdated infrastructure. Sixty-one percent of the first half of the American Rescue Plan Act funds will be committed to a 40-inch water main to improve South Jackson’s water system.
“It is also important that residents be aware of the strides that we have made, not only on their behalf but with their assistance. And that is a narrative that is often left out of the conversation. And so yes, we have a long way to go, and no, we are not satisfied, but we have a lot to be proud of. And we will continue to work to continue the list of things that we are proud of,” Lumumba stated.
Other investments the city has made includes the Jackson Zoo, the Russell C. Davis Planetarium and connecting West County Line Road and East County Line Road.
The mayor said the city will make an investment to weatherize Jackson’s water plants, so neighbors don’t have to endure the lack of clean water again.