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Interesante la seleccion del nuevo alcalde de Jackson Mississippi

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Interesante la seleccion del nuevo alcalde de Jackson Mississippi

Mensaje por Charlie319 el Miér Sep 25, 2013 10:14 am


 El arrcarde de Jackson tiene un historial interesante...  Este tipo ha de haber sufrido su reduccion en rango de Vice-Presidente de la Nueva Africa a Arrcarrde... Si suena como un socialista... Es probable que sea porque lo es... Terminara el cumpliendo su sueño?


In Mississippi, America's most revolutionary mayor

by Siddhartha Mitter

@siddhmi

September 19, 2013 5:00AM ET

Mayor Chokwe Lumumba is 'applying a philosophy against imperialism to the practice of repairing streets'
 
JACKSON, Miss. — On July 1, Chokwe Lumumba, an attorney with a long record of black radical activism, took office as mayor of Jackson. His inauguration took place in the gleaming convention center that sprang up four years ago in the state capital’s mostly deserted downtown.

A crowd of 2,500 packed the hall. The city councilors and other dignitaries, most of them African-American — Jackson, a city of 177,000, is 80 percent black — sat on the dais. The local congressman, Bennie Thompson, officiated. The outgoing mayor, Harvey Johnson, the city's first black mayor, wished his successor well. The Mississippi Mass Choir gave a jubilant performance of “When I Rose This Morning.”

Finally, Lumumba, 66, approached the podium, pulling the microphone up to suit his tall, lean frame. “Well,” he said, “I want to say, God is good, all the time.”
The crowd replied. “God is good, all the time!”
“I want to say hey! And hello!”
The crowd called back, “Hey! Hello!”
Then Lumumba smiled and raised his right hand halfway, just a little above the podium, briefly showing the clenched fist of a Black Power salute.
“And I want to say, free the land!”

Applause rang out, bells chimed, wooden staffs rose up and people shouted back, “Free the land!” That’s the motto of the Republic of New Afrika (RNA), the movement formed in 1968 that sought to turn the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina into an independent black nation.

Jackson’s new mayor is a former vice president of the RNA and a co-founder of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM), a national group born in 1993 that seeks self-determination for African-Americans — whom it calls New Afrikans — “by any means necessary.” Like many shaped by the Black Power era, Lumumba long shunned formal politics, until a successful run for City Council in 2009. Now, as mayor, he is seeking to apply the tenets of the black radical tradition to the duties of running a city

“Nowadays you’ve got to call yourself a ‘change agent’ or something, or else you’ll make people scared,” Lumumba told me when I visited Jackson in August. “But I am a revolutionary.”

We met in City Hall, a handsome 1846 structure that was built by slave labor and spared destruction in the Civil War because it served as a hospital for both sides. The mayor had just come from a budget hearing before the City Council.

Lumumba was dressed in a dark suit, and his short white hair was discreetly combed over. He is a compelling speaker, prone to long answers, but with the orator’s gift for making complex ideas sound colloquial. He sprinkles his sentences with “all right, OK” and has a sharp sense of humor, which he used to biting effect on his opponents in the mayoral debates.

Raised in Detroit, he was radicalized by the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. In 1969 he began law school at Wayne State University, gave up his given name, Edwin Taliaferro, for the “free name” Chokwe Lumumba — honoring the Chokwe ethnic group of Central Africa and the Congolese revolutionary Patrice Lumumba — and joined the RNA in Jackson, leaving law school for two years to dedicate himself to the cause. After graduating, he set up a practice in Detroit and represented the former Black Panther leaders Geronimo Pratt and Assata Shakur.

Lumumba moved back to Jackson in the late 1980s, settling in middle-class Ward 2 with his wife, Nubia, a flight attendant, and their three children. (Nubia died in 2003.) He took on racially charged criminal defense cases in Mississippi, as well as out-of-town clients like the rapper Tupac Shakur. He tangled with the state bar, earning reprimands for, among other things, calling one judge a racist and saying another had the “judicial temperament of a barbarian.” He led the team that secured the 2011 release of the Scott sisters, two African-American women who had gotten life sentences in 1996 for an armed robbery that netted $11.

This background was a deterrent to some Jackson voters, particularly in the city’s small but powerful white business community when Lumumba announced his candidacy. “I was absolutely scared to death of him,” Ben Allen, the president of Downtown Jackson Partners, which represents real estate interests, told me. “Just about everyone I know was. Because if you Google ‘Chokwe Lumumba,’ he has taken some very controversial stances on some very controversial people that he’s represented. And a zebra can’t change its stripes.”

Lumumba’s volunteers got a cold welcome in the city’s mostly white, well-to-do northeast. “They slammed their door on us,” said MXGM activist Mike Walker, who helped run the door-to-door effort.

It was the Democratic runoff in May that decided the race (in overwhelmingly Democratic Jackson, the general election is a formality). Lumumba’s rival was frontrunner Jonathan Lee, a young businessman who had served as president of the Chamber of Commerce. Both had come ahead of Johnson, the incumbent who had held the office for 12 of the last 16 years, in the Democratic primary. Lee sought to portray Lumumba as out-of-touch and extreme, while Lumumba insinuated that Lee was beholden to white Republican interests. Exchanges between their supporters were equally unpleasant.

“Things got really, really ugly,” said C.J. Rhodes, the young pastor of Mount Helm Baptist Church, Jackson’s oldest black congregation. “Those last weeks of the campaign really tested friendships and loyalties.”

“There was the whole ‘Uncle Tom’ stuff, and the ‘You’re too radical’ stuff,” said Nsombi Lambright, a leader of the state NAACP who served on Lumumba’s transition team. “It surfaced some really deep-rooted issues in our community.”

Regina Quinn, an attorney who placed fourth in the primary, said she faced hostility from some of her backers after she endorsed Lumumba in the runoff. One of her campaign-event hosts vowed never to support her again.

“There are some wounds that need to be healed,” Quinn said. “It’s a small town.”
But Jackson’s small size also made it hard to successfully demonize Lumumba, who alongside his radical involvements and controversial cases was also known as a family man, youth basketball coach (he named his team the Panthers), member of the Word and Worship Church and neighbor.

“During the campaign, they raised all this hay about how he’s a radical,” said Melvin Priester Jr., a lawyer who won the election for Lumumba’s seat on the City Council and a childhood friend of the mayor’s daughter, Rukia. “Aside from wearing dashikis in the neighborhood, he was just a loving father,” Priester said. “I saw him as Mr. Lumumba from up the block.”

Besides, depicting a black activist as a radical doesn’t make sense in a place like Mississippi, said Priester. “From outside it’s easy to draw lines between the Republic of New Afrika and mainline civil rights organizations like the NAACP. But for black people in the South, there’s not so much a division, because even the most mainline, suit-and-tie-wearing activists were getting shot at.”

"People were looking at Lumumba as the radical, but they missed the fact that as an attorney and advocate, he made so many deep relationships over the years,” said Rhodes, who voted for Lee but spoke highly of both men. “He was able to speak to the mood of a number of disenchanted black working-class folk, who saw in him the one who finally comes and revolutionizes this chocolate city.”

The engine of Lumumba’s campaign was his grassroots operation, led by the same cadre of activists who ran his City Council race in 2009. For four years, these supporters have convened a quarterly People’s Assembly, a sort of town hall meeting, held in church halls and community centers around Ward 2. As councilman, Lumumba used this forum to hear constituents’ concerns and host meetings with various city department heads. Assembly regulars became natural volunteers for his mayoral race. They now intend to take the People’s Assembly citywide.

“The People’s Assembly is an independent body,” said Mattie Wilson Stoddard, its vice chair. “It was developed by the people, for the people, to enable the people.” Lumumba was the people’s candidate, Stoddard said. “But the time will come when there will be some small differences. We will hold him accountable.”

Lumumba’s core supporters espouse a program called the Jackson Plan, which the MXGM posted on its website in 2012. The plan’s aim is to “build a base of autonomous power in Jackson that can serve as a catalyst for the attainment of Black self-determination and the democratic transformation of the economy.” Many of the specifics are practical, even business-friendly — improving Jackson’s paltry recycling program; bringing hothouses and pesticide-free techniques to community gardens; building cheap, energy-efficient housing.

When I asked Lumumba how he planned to build a solidarity economy now that he is mayor, he gave a measured answer.

You have more affluent folks who have businesses; we want to challenge them to invest in the less fortunate, to try to get people homes they can live in, to give them jobs,” he said. “Show them that they’re likely to get more city contracts, for instance, if they bring more subcontractors who they are developing and helping to expand our economic base, as opposed to the regular old suspects. We think we can do some solidarity with that too.”

Lumumba’s top challenge is Jackson’s infrastructure crisis. The roads are rutted and buckled. The water and sewer systems are beset by capacity issues, decaying pipes, and obsolete metering and billing systems. Water-main breaks and flooded streets are chronic. Poorly treated sewage spews into the Pearl River; last year the city signed a consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency that binds it to a $400 million investment program to restore compliance. In January 2010, a cold snap caused 70 water breaks and the whole city had to boil water. Even in normal times, tap water often runs brown. Addressing these problems has been difficult in part because Jackson’s tax base is anemic. The population has shrunk by 12 percent since 1980, due to both white and black middle-class flight to suburban Rankin and Madison counties. Over 27 percent of city residents live in poverty.

By August, Lumumba was defending his proposed budget before the City Council. At $502 million, it represented an increase of 43 percent over the previous year, mostly due to capital expenses on infrastructure. One proposed source of funding was a large increase in water rates, by 29 percent, and sewer rates, which would more than double. “We can no longer kick the can down the road,” he told the council.

To raise funds, Lumumba has also set aside a campaign pledge. Under Johnson, the city asked the state Legislature to approve a one-cent sales-tax surcharge to go toward public works, but the plan stalled when the Republican-led Legislature demanded that a joint city-state commission control the funds. During the campaign, Lumumba opposed the commission, but as mayor he has agreed to the arrangement.

He had also objected to a $90 million contract that the outgoing administration had awarded to Siemens for water-system improvements, arguing that its costs were inflated. But it appears that he’ll likely let the contract stand.

“We’re not only worrying about Siemens; we’re worrying about the people that are going to be hired because of Siemens,” he now says.

Lumumba’s pragmatism has pleasantly surprised some skeptics. “I can’t tell you how much I’ve been impressed by this guy,” said Allen, the downtown development advocate. “He’s appointed some of his biggest rivals to his economic-development advisory team. I’m one of them. He’s a good listener. We’re hopeful.”

Lumumba’s focus on infrastructure investment is consistent with the core goal that has run through his political life, beginning with the RNA: self-determination. His emphasis on local empowerment and suspicion of outside authority are representative of his leftist politics, but when applied at the level of a city government, they’re compatible with some varieties of conservative thought as well.

“Dealing with infrastructure is a protection against being robbed of one’s self-determination,” Lumumba said. “We’ve seen what’s happening in Detroit, where the whole city has been taken over by the state. We don’t want that to happen here, so we want to conquer those problems. And we’re trying to expand the base of the population and the alliance which is trying to fight for this avenue for self-determination. We aren’t trying to create more enemies.”

Lumumba appears to be making more friends than enemies. In mid-September, the City Council passed his budget, including the rate increases, by a vote of 5-2. His election has also drawn enthusiastic offers from progressive advocacy groups eager to implement their vision in Jackson. “People are sending in all this stuff,” said Lambright, from the transition team. “A human rights charter, legalization of drugs ... It’s like, slow down!”

When it comes to outside interests, Lumumba is cautious. “Our philosophy is that the people must decide,” he said. “I’m not going to turn away from that to give people who may be revolutionary in some other context an inordinate amount of authority here.” Succeed or fail, the Jackson experiment, as Lumumba sees it, will occur on Jackson’s terms.

“I think I’m going through an experience which can help the movement,” he said. “Testing our ideas, working our ideas in real situations. Applying a philosophy against imperialism to the practice of repairing streets.”
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Charlie319
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Re: Interesante la seleccion del nuevo alcalde de Jackson Mississippi

Mensaje por Charlie319 el Miér Sep 25, 2013 10:35 am


Mas sobre el alcalde de Jackson, Miss...  Ahora por un preso en California...
http://sfbayview.com/2013/operation-green-future-chokwe-lumumbas-vision-for-jackson-mississippi/

Operation Green Future: Chokwe Lumumba’s vision for Jackson, Mississippi

September 4, 2013



Tweet9


by Abdul Shakur
Brotha Chokwe becoming the people-elected mayor of a city which is predominantly New Afrikan has provided us with the opportunity show the people that we are capable of governing and providing effective leadership. As we all know, many are praying that our brotha fails and will do everything in their power to impede his ability to serve and build.



Jackson, Mississippi, Mayor Chokwe Lumumba announced on Aug. 19 a 43 percent budget increase to comply with an EPA consent decree mandating $400 million to rebuild the city’s sewer system and spend another $300 to repair water lines and roads, thus creating good jobs for local contractors and workers, a high priority for Lumumba. Higher sewer and water rates and a one-time tax will pay for the work, and a Vulnerable People’s Fund will help cover the increase for elderly and low-income residents. The City Council appears supportive. – Photo: Joe Ellis, Clarion-Ledger


Regardless of what we may think about the U.S. political or economic system, we must support our New Afrikan brotha – i.e., without compromising our core revolutionary principles and tenets – and assist him in building a strong and viable Black stronghold. We must take both a strategic and tactical approach for this and not a subjective one. Think in terms of the potential benefits.

We understand that many Whites are fleeing Jackson, Mississippi, and no doubt many more will follow, and as a result a depletion of resources, money and jobs will and has occurred affecting Brotha Chokwe’s ability to rebuild, deliberate and orchestrate plans. But I believe if we combine our efforts towards the development of a comprehensive plan of action that has the greatest potential to succeed, we can and will facilitate Brotha Chokwe’s vision for building a viable and stable city within the territory of our New Afrikan nation.

A Green blueprint
This concept is so simple, unnecessary verbiage would only do it a disservice – and clarity of purpose is an innate prerequisite in the development and presentation of new ideas and/or concepts. The difficulties may lie within its constitutional mechanics, but a comprehensive proposal could even simplify the most difficult of tasks.

Brotha Chokwe Lumumba’s victory has provided us with the opportunity to develop the first city in the U.S. to be entirely constructed and dependent on the concept of Green Technology. Every infrastructure, as well as institution, will be rebuilt, retrofit and/or repaired utilizing Green Technology. Understanding this is a long-term process which will require his re-election.

It is equally imperative to stipulate that Operation Green Future (OGF) will not be business as usual. Big business exploiting the workforce to maximize their profit margin will not be tolerated under the conceptual context of OGF. The OGF protocol will require that its Green workforce be paid according to the cost of living in the city of Jackson, Mississippi, and that workforce rights will be fully protected and respected.

There exist multiple steps to initiate towards facilitating the implementation of such an endeavor, but the initial priority is going to be twofold. Both steps are vitally crucial towards the success of Operation Green Future, but before we expound on these two crucial steps, let’s briefly examine the benefits:


  1. As a direct result of White flight, the City of Jackson lost a lot of revenue from businesses moving out of the city, which resulted in a rapid increase in unemployment, inevitably expanding poverty among poor people, the New Afrikan in particular. OGF will bring back more vital and sustainable businesses, which will provide meaningful employment while stimulating the local economy. This stimulation would provide much needed funds allocated for education, health care, social programming and infrastructure.
  2. The city of Jackson is within the territory of our New Afrikan Nation. It is imperative for us to stabilize and take control of those cities which are predominately New Afrikan within this Black Belt foundation of our future as a people. We have a mayor who is ideologically in tune with our political destiny. This is a rare strategically and tactical opportunity for the New Afrikan Independence Movement (NAIM).
  3. The city of Jackson can serve as a model, showcasing a practical functional application of our ideological principles at work, such as New Afrikan scientific socialism.

Though I have no doubt we can identify a multitude of beneficial advantages, but I believe that the three I listed above strategically encompasses all potential benefits, those that are anticipated as well as those benefits that are not anticipated.

Two critical steps toward implementation
1. Identify all Green-oriented businesses that finance, develop or produce technology or products that fall within the scope of Green technology, environmental responsible and sustainable energy, such as wind turbines, solar panels, light bulbs, toilets, windows, agriculture, cars, homes, biodegradable products. Offer these companies tax breaks and other incentives designed to encourage them to move or develop and build manufacturing plants in Jackson. It is critical that this will not be about making money off of poor people. We want them to understand this is an investment in the future.

Jackson will serve as a medium for marketing and promoting Green technology. For example, let’s say we recruit a New Afrikan company that produces solar panels and we allocate funds from the Green Future Society Trust Funds (GFSTF) to pay this company to retrofit 20,000 low-income homes with solar panels. This would cut their energy bills dramatically. This program would provide this company free advertisement via Green tourism. Potential clients would tour the communities as well as public buildings where these solar panels are installed. Mayors and other potential clients would be able to tour the city where Green technology is incorporated on every level of society. Recruiting these companies is imperative to the success of this plan of action.

2. Green Future Society Trust Fund (GFSTF): As we all know, funding will be a major issue, so we must develop a source list of philanthropists who would be willing to donate money to this worthy project as long as they understand unequivocally their donations come with no strings attached; they have no influences over the political, economic or social direction of the city. Each philanthropist will pledge millions of dollars to the GFSTF and this money will be specifically designated for funding Operation Green Future (OGF).

I realize many socialist activists are reluctant to accept donations of funds from kapitalist entities, and this is understandable but not strategically sound. One of our major obstacles is our inability to establish a strong economic base to fund our activities and/or community-based programs. I often tell comrades, as socialist revolutionaries we can no longer engage in the expropriation of kapitalist interests. This aggressive method has exhausted its tactical usefulness.

 We must begin to employ legitimate and legal means by which to fund our movement, agenda and institutions, and this can be done without capitulating our basic tenets to the ills of kapitalism, but it’s time to implement socialist entreprenuerism. The OGF will not be solely dependent on the GFSTF. This will be just one of many sources we develop. One of Bill Gates’ goals was to get computers in every low-income community school. Why not invite his generosity in the service of upgrading the schools in Jackson? I believe that many sincere White philanthropists, may they agree with our core beliefs or not, who would financially support Operation Green Future.
In conclusion

People, this is not a complete blueprint nor was it designed to be such. This is only a proposed plan of action with many missing components, and it is for this reason I chose this medium to present this comprehensive plan of action. The development of this plan of action (POA) will take, if not demand, a collective effort. Each person can take this POA and construct a more detailed and practical blueprint and present it to Brotha Chokwe Lumumba. I have never claimed to have all the answers to our problems.

I have spent the last 30 years in isolation – solitary confinement – so my knowledge relating to Green technology is limited. But as I/we enter the 46th day of our hunger strike, I felt a sense of urgency to put this thought on paper. Though my energy level is extremely low and we are under threat of being force-fed, I tapped into every ounce of energy to get this POA done. I trust that the people can and/or will complete this task, but keep it true to New Afrikan scientific socialism and resist the greed and exploitation of kapitalism!

Send our brother some love and light: Abdul Olugbala Shakur (s/n J. Harvey), C48884, PBSP, ASU G-174, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City, CA 95532.
 
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