A Democratic mayor in Mississippi’s capital of Jackson has not only failed to create the socialist paradise he wanted, but he appears to be harming the city’s residents as well.
During his 2017 mayoral campaign, Chokwe Antar Lumumba pledged to make Jackson “the most radical city on the planet.” And he has: So far, The Daily Caller notes, “he’s been unable to even solve…the city’s basic infrastructure problems and the city’s running water is now unsafe to drink.”
The outlet noted further:
He campaigned on plans to introduce universal basic income and alternatives to policing, to replace vacant lots with urban farms and to resolve chronic issues with the city’s water and roads in order to break the “cycles of humiliation” he said black residents experience in Jackson, the most heavily black large city in the U.S.
Instead, the city’s water problems have worsened, and Republican Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency Tuesday because running water is not reliably available nor safe for consumption.
“Providing an emergency briefing tonight at 7:00 PM, alongside our Department of Health and Emergency Management Agency, on today’s failure of our state capital’s water system and the resources that the state is mobilizing to respond,” Tate wrote on Twitter Monday afternoon.
Providing an emergency briefing tonight at 7:00 PM, alongside our Department of Health and Emergency Management Agency, on today’s failure of our state capital’s water system and the resources that the state is mobilizing to respond. Watch on Facebook or local news.
— Governor Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) August 29, 2022
The DC noted that the O.B. Curtis Water Plant, which is operated by the city, has had problems for years — problems that have led the plant to issue several ‘boil water’ notices.
However, the plant flooded recently and that has made it even more difficult to produce reliably safe drinking water to the city’s roughly 170,000 people. As such, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is moving to distribute potable water available from tanker trucks located in several places around the city, Lumumba said in an interview with CNN.
“I wouldn’t call us the most radical city to date,” Lumumba told Politico in 2021 during another water crisis.
“Four years ago, Lumumba swept into office on a tide of rhetoric and ambition that drew national attention. He laid out an expansive vision of how Jackson could become a model for the country, promising to use City Hall to deliver not just better services, but a whole menu of new progressive ideas like universal basic income, co-operative businesses and alternatives to policing,” the outlet reported.
“He talked about replacing abandoned lots with urban farms. And in a city that is 82 percent Black — a higher rate than any other big city in the country — he framed his promises in elevated, historical terms, promising to rewrite the story of race and commerce in the region from one of exploitation to one of empowerment,” the report continued.
“He talked about fixing the potholes — a big topic of conversation here — not just as road projects but as a way to end ‘cycles of humiliation,’ so being black doesn’t mean having to endure torn-up roads and bad water,” the report added.
But so far, not so good. That is in large part because the city, like a sizeable portion of its residents, is poor. Ambition like his may be more suited to Seattle or Austin, where more wealthy residents provide a much larger tax base, Politico added.
“Now as Lumumba, who recently turned 38, runs for his second term, even he acknowledges he hasn’t succeeded in achieving his vision,” said the report.