NAACP hosts town hall meeting to address water crisis and legislation in Jackson

Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 11:07 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Water woes in Jackson was one of many hot topics at a town hall meeting Thursday night.

The NAACP and Congressman Bennie Thompson met with residents at New Hope Baptist Church.

Over the past year, officials with the organization say they have worked closely with local advocates and government officials to ensure an equitable recovery from the ongoing water crisis.

You may remember, the organization filed a civil rights complaint in the fall against the Department of Environmental Quality accusing the agency of discriminating against the city of Jackson.

Thompson also launched an investigation into how federal funding is being spent to fix water issues in the capital city.

So far, $600 million in federal funds have been approved to help update the water infrastructure in Jackson. Also, interim third-party manager Ted Henifin, has been appointed by the federal government to oversee Jackson’s water system.

House Bill 1020 was also discussed. It would install a new court system run by selected judges, and Capitol Police jurisdiction would expand in 2024.

The NAACP has signaled it’s prepared to fight through legal action if the bill is signed into law.

“They are only imposing this on the city of Jackson. No other jurisdiction in the state of Mississippi will have this type of oversight in taking local authority. That is a direct violation of the equal protection. As soon as the governor signs any or all these bills, we will be filing a lawsuit that same day,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said.

Last week, The Mississippi House and Senate passed a final version of the House Bill 1020, sending it to the governor’s desk.

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