Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at Jackson town hall discussion - - Jackson, MS

Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at Jackson town hall discussion

(Souirce: WLBT) (Souirce: WLBT)
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Senator Bernie Sanders visited the capital city Wednesday for a special event commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death. The City of Jackson hosted a town hall discussion on economic justice at Thalia Mara Hall.

The event started with the JFD & JPD Honor Guard doing a presentation of colors and ceremonial bell ringing to commemorate the 50th anniversary of MLK’s death. MADDRAMA also presented a video and performance.

Moderators later introduced Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba and Senator Bernie Sanders as the discussion began.

Both men started the discussion talking about MLK’s commitments to economic justice and then went on to answer questions, selected through the social media campaign #50YearsLater.

When asked how local governments can secure resources to push for a progressive agenda without increasing the tax burden on the poor, Lumumba said there is a lot of work to be done.

“We have a tremendous task, not only in the City of Jackson but the nation, in identifying that in order to tackle the issues of economic justice, We have to look at it from a holistic lens,” said Lumumba. “It is necessary that we have a government that is willing to have strategies and policies that look at incorporating the rise of all people.”

Lumumba said he believes it’s important to lift Jacksonians up instead of pushing them away and said that starts by taking the lead on matters they feel are important, such as living wages.  

“One of the most fertile things you can provide for economic advancement is a population that has wealth,” Lumumba said. “We believe it’s important that we do so, and also making sure that we look at measures of how we support disadvantaged businesses. Jackson is a city which is 85% African-American, yet we see the majority of the wealth is not in the hands of the majority of the population.”

Mayor Lumumba and Senator Sanders touched on a number of issues including public policy and addressing the voices of the largely unheard population of homeless people, the LGBT community, and others.

“We now need to develop public policy in Washington that helps communities, especially struggling communities, all over this country,” said Sanders. “What does that mean? It means that we don’t give a trillion dollars in tax breaks to the richest people in this country. It means that we take that trillion and invest it in infrastructure all across this country, and infrastructure is roads, bridges, rails, water system, wastewater plants, and affordable housing, and high-quality internet service at an affordable rate.”

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