Lumumba Announces Transition Team | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Lumumba Announces Transition Team

Mayor elect Chokwe Lumumba introduced some familiar faces on his Transition Executive Committee this week.

Mayor elect Chokwe Lumumba introduced some familiar faces on his Transition Executive Committee this week. Photo by Trip Burns

Mayor elect Chokwe Lumumba introduced some familiar faces on his Transition Executive Committee this week.

The executive committee is co-chaired by Dr. Safiya Omari, a Jackson State University professor, and Synarus Green, a legislative aide to U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson.

Omari, who also served as Lumumba's campaign coordinator, is an associate professor of social work and health sciences and Director of the Southern Institute for Mental Health Advocacy Research and Training at Jackson State.

Aside from his work for Thompson, Green—a Murrah High School and JSU grad—has a background in public relations and law enforcement. He served as communications director for the Hattiesburg Police Department before he went to work for Thompson.

Other members include businessman Akil Bakari, Misssissippi Immigrant Rights Alliance Executive Director Bill Chandler, Kerimax Communication owner William Dilday, Howard Law Firm senior partner Barry Howard, former state American Civil Liberties Union director Nsombi Lambright, Habitat for Humanity Resource Development Director Merrill McKewen, JSU Vice-President Michael Thomas and local radio personality Latrice Westbrooks, who is also serving as the communications liaison.

"The citizens of Jackson deserve a seamless transition as well as a transparent government," Lumumba said in a press release. "I have selected a group, reflective of the makeup of the City of Jackson, that is diverse. The diversity is represented in the gender, age, professional skill-sets, community involvement and, yes, race. This is a group of worthy, committed and knowledgeable people who are assisting me in moving Jackson forward."

The nine-member group is made up of three women and six men, with two white members and seven black members. Lumumba said the group was chosen carefully, and pointed out that the makeup of his team closely resembles the actual makeup of Jackson's population.

A few of the team's duties include advising Lumumba on personnel matters, providing a report on the cities strengths and weaknesses, and easing Lumumba's transition into office.

"(The team) will eventually develop a transition report," Lumumba said. "It will help to inform us what our strengths are and what our weaknesses are. It will, at the same time, be there to give advice as it relates to some of the position which we have to fill, or some of the position which exist in city government, and how they are addressed."


sabiriusin601 5 years, 4 months ago

Good people, great team. This is going to be awesome.


Meredith 5 years, 4 months ago

Looking forward to bold new changes in Jackson. Coming soon!


JLucas 5 years, 4 months ago

I just heard that JPD deputy chief Lindsey Horton will be the new Police Chief. At least Lumumba didn't need weeks or months to name a chief, unlike his predecessor.


Lindahelen 5 years, 4 months ago

@JLucas: is that verifiable information?


JLucas 5 years, 4 months ago

JSU broke the news yesterday (much to the Mayor's chagrin, I suspect) and he confirmed it during today's inauguration (along with his choice of Willie Owens for JFD Chief).


justjess 5 years, 4 months ago

If this is true, JLucas, I think that it will be a great choice; however, one wonders why such an important position would come from someone other than the Mayor-Elect????????

Mayor Johnson has so many accomplishments during his administration. Why is it that a man who woked so hard would be singled out for negative comments? This is so unfair and again I say that we as a people can not afford to trash good men or women.

Whites continue to cherish even Mickey Mouse - as do many blacks. We as black folks have a very bad habit of finding the worse possible things to say. Our folks did Dr. Martin King that way. It was only after Prsident Kennedy and some other whites gave the stamp of approval and the status of a "peace-maker" did he become something other than a trouble maker and someone who would get blacks killed.

Also, just remeber it has taken 50 years for a true acknowledgement of Medgar Evers. So, please, leave Mayor Johnson out of your negative commentary. In only a matter of hours, Mr. Lumumba will be sworn in as Jackson's new Mayor. He has admitted to the BIG challenge ahead of him in trying to continue the many tasks from the Johnson Administration.

You can lift the new Mayor up wihout tearing Mayor Johnson down. He and his wife, Kathy, love Jackson and deserve to be remembered for so many positive things that can be proved and evidenced.

Mayor Johnson will go into the history books as the First African-American Mayor of the Capital City and a mayor who was able to have a balanced budget with a surplus at the end of each of his three terms. He was able to keep Jackson on a sccessful financial track during our country's worse recession in many years. Many cities around the country went bankrupt during that period. Can anyone say Detroit?

.....Oh, and by the way, Mayor Johnson, wife nor children have ever lived or owned a home in MADISON. They continue to live in the City of Jackson!!!!


JLucas 5 years, 4 months ago

Justjess, clearly I don't share your unabashed admiration of Mayor Johnson, and i will pass on your rebuke that I only speak positively of him. Obviously i'm not the only Jacksonian disappointed by him, or else he would not have been voted out twice. My first impression of him after moving here 12 years ago was his ridiculously drawn out process of picking a JPD Chief after Bracey Coleman. Yes, he deserves respect as the first black mayor of Jackson, and he did accomplish a number of things in office, not the least of which was the convention center, which I'm sure will one day be renamed in his honor, and rightfully so. Very unfortunate that it was erected without a hotel (not all his fault, since Mayor Meltdown royally screwed us on that one) and operates in the red. Assuming you don't bust an axle on the raggedy roads to get there, it is a marvel for our fair capitol city.

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