"Open Letter to Mr. Lumumba from Ward 7 Couple" by Jackblog | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS


Open Letter to Mr. Lumumba from Ward 7 Couple

This open letter came late on runoff night. We are reposting it verbatim. Send other "open letter" submissions (up to 1,000 words with verifiable facts and respectful tone) to ladd@jacksonfreepress.com.

Dear Mr. Lumumba,

We are a white couple in our early 30s that live in Ward Seven who did not vote for you. That said, congratulations on winning the Democratic primary for the Jackson mayoral election tonight. While many people in town are celebrating with you, there are many people who have many fears about the next four years.

• What is going to happen with the infrastructure issues of Jackson in all wards? (Will the large sinkhole on Old Canton Road ever get fixed?)

• Will you be fair towards advancing all wards of Jackson and uniting the city?

• Will the public schools in our area be the best (or even a good) educational option for our children?

• Will economic growth be encouraged in all wards?

• Will there be a continued (or even an increase) in wealth and opportunities leaving the city out of fear and uncertainty?

• Will crime increase in the city?

Should you be elected mayor, we—and many other Ward 1 and Ward 7 residents—would like to work with you to help achieve solution to these long-standing issues facing Jacksonians.

We have chosen to raise our family in Jackson and consciously make every effort to support local businesses and restaurants. We have been extremely saddened to hear of businesses moving out of Jackson city limits and into surrounding cities. Our hope is that others will make a similar commitment to support Jackson. However, on paper, we realize that it does not make sense for us to live in Jackson.

• Our property taxes and car tags are significantly higher than other cities in the metro area.

• With businesses moving out of Jackson, it is often difficult to not give sales tax money to other cities in the metro area. (Once Sam's Club leaves its current location, should we go to the new Madison store or the one in Pearl? We want to keep our sales tax money here, but these are the real decisions we face.)

• The crime rate and perception of Jackson intimidates many of our friends/family who don’t feel comfortable coming to our house at night.

• We don’t feel like we can send our kids to their assigned elementary school as it is a “failing” school with a level 2 rating without a multi-racial environment.

• Our roads and pipes are crumbling.

But we love it here. We love our neighbors. We love the local restaurants. We love the festivals/events. We love our church. We love the future that we believe Jackson can have.

We chose to live here to be part of a movement … moving Jackson forward. We don’t want to leave the city. So, how can we partner together, with you to help Jackson—all of Jackson?

Together, I hope we can make great strides in Jackson over the next four years.

Our main question to you, Mr. Lumumba, will you work with us?

We plead with you to reach out to the constituents of Ward 1 and Ward 7 with a message of inclusion. Please allay the fears that have been generated during this election process.

— Todd and Carley Dear

Note: Councilman Lumumba discusses some of these issues here in http://www.jfp.ms/chokwelumumba">both his JFP Interview and in this audio of an interview with the JFP editorial board.


donnaladd 5 years, 10 months ago

BTW, about that sinkhole on Old Canton, someone posted this on the Fondren list Monday:

I posted the sinkhole on 311. Within hours, this was the response: PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR DAN GAILLET RESPONDS: This project is much bigger than meets the eye and will be part of the nearly $16 million in sewer improvements that will begin this summer. This project in particular is one of approximately nearly 20+ projects that we have in this, or much worse condition. This project involves not only repairing the collapse at the intersection of Crane/Old Canton, but includes the improvement of an additional 1200 feet of line up and down Crane Blvd to ensure that this type of collapse does not reoccur. The City has made the first important fix on Crane Blvd in stopping the wastewater from flowing into the creek with improvements to the existing manhole and broken line at the manhole. Unfortunately, with the size of the line, the depths at which it is, and the cost of the ultimate repair, this is not an “easy fix”. Public Works is as anxious as anyone and can sympathize with the frustration of not getting this repair done in a timely manner. However, we would ask for the Public’s indulgence and patience as we work towards rectifying this problem permanently.

This is encouraging.


Enlightened1 5 years, 10 months ago

It is encouraging to see that Mr. and Mrs. Dear are reaching out to our future Mayor Lumumba. However, it is sad to think that there is so much fear in residents of Ward 1 and Ward 7. Why does a strong position and statements for fairness have to be translated by some residents as a call for exclusion of members of Ward 1 and Ward 7? I never once heard Councilman Lumumba allude to any plans of excluding ANY wards in his plan to renew Jackson!!!

It is my prayer that the people of Jackson do not succumb to the spirit of fear or ignorance but instead that we all UNITE as one body under the leadership of our future Mayor Lumumba and make Jackson the great capital city that it has the potential to become!!!!


patjackson 5 years, 10 months ago

If Councilman Lumumba is so sure he will be the next Mayor of the City of Jackson, why are calls being made to the Independent candidates asking them to rescind? Mayoral Candidate Mr. Francis Smith has asked Councilman Lumumba for an open debate and he has refused..WHY??? Is this who you really want as your next Mayor? You do the math...


donnaladd 5 years, 10 months ago

Just came from the city about that Old Canton sinkhole:

Traffic Alert

The City of Jackson Department of Public Works announces that it has closed Old Canton Road at Crane Blvd to through traffic. An emergency repair to a major sewer line at that intersection will begin today. Work should continue for approximately two weeks.

Motorists are urged to observe all traffic control devices. Detour signs are posted.


js1976 5 years, 10 months ago

"Will the public schools in our area be the best (or even a good) educational option for our children?"

Well he is speaking with Jackson Public School officials about removing Christopher Columbus from the history books, so I think that answers your question.


patjackson 5 years, 10 months ago

Excellent...if I woulda, coulda. shoulda...If only the City of Jackson's Department of Public Works had in 2006 listened to a representative from FEMA who offered funding to assist the City with infrastructure costs these type problems could have well been underway to being addressed...Oh by the way, what happened to the $12 million in Stimulus Funds the City received in 2009?


patjackson 5 years, 10 months ago

Haaa...I like that...one of the current Mayoral candidates spoke with JPS Superintendent Dr. Gray early in his campaign. Visionary...


blkjazz 5 years, 10 months ago

js1976, I did not hear anything about removing Christopher Columbus from the history books. I think the aim is to correct the inaccurate notion that Columbus "discovered" America. He did not.


donnaladd 5 years, 10 months ago

Tyler http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/weblo...">talked to Councilman Lumumba about Columbus-gate. It seems, WAPT mucked up their headline.

Even http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_People's_History_of_the_United_States#Columbus_to_the_Robber_Barons">Howard Zinn doesn't want Columbus removed from the history books; just put in an accurate context—and one that isn't so eurocentric and apologetic for Native American genocide.


sarahmina 5 years, 9 months ago

To Mr and Mrs Dear,

First, let me assure you that this man, Chokwe Lumumba, is a man of integrity, principle and a heart felt advocate for Human Rights. If you truly want to know who he is, go talk to him. I'm sure he would be more than willing to meet with you and your friends. You need to make your judgements of this man based on your OWN assessment and not the irrational fears and race baiting of many whites in this city. His campaign managers name is Safia Omari. Call his. Campaign and ask for her. I'm sure they would love to speak with you. There are other white people who work in his campaign.

Maybe you can enlighten me. Where does the fear come from? Yes, he fought against injustice and was an activist in the 60s. So was I. It was a time when Black people's lives were worth nothing and their murder, beatings, lynchings were openly sanctioned by the state government and to a lesser degree, the federal government. African Americans, including Mr Lumumba never systematically killed "ANYONE". If anyone should be fearful Of Another race of people, don't you think it would be us. Our churches, schools, homes, businesses, opportunities have NEVER been closed to you. If what you and your friends are really afraid of is retribution, don't be. We have never been and are not now, a people looking for revenge. it would be a disastrous journey because it is evil and unsustaining. NO ONE WINS. if we are to succeed, it MUST be with people willing to build real and sustainable bridges built on honesty and TRUTH! its not going to be easy but, for me, it is worth every bit of the effort if what results is a healthier, economically sound, educationally forward city that is welcoming to ALL who want to participate. Of the things you listed as wanting for this city, don't you think African Americans want tw exact same things for our children and our city? We Do! Come join us! That's YOUR OPEN Invitation!


Pilgrim3 5 years, 9 months ago

Donna, any chance of giving the sinkhole its own news topic? Coverage has been kind of lacking here and other news sources.


donnaladd 5 years, 9 months ago

Feel free to start one, pilgram.


Pilgrim3 5 years, 9 months ago

Coolness. I await my password and user ID to post to the news page with bated breath. Not. ;-) Seriously, though are you suggesting I set up a blog for that?


donnaladd 5 years, 9 months ago

Anyone can blog on the site, Pilgrim3.

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