Mayor and Governor attempt to shift narrative on Jackson water crisis moving forward

Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 8:33 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - If you have seen some of the national coverage about the water crisis, much of it is focused on a blame game. We took those questions to leaders and are talking about the next steps.

In the first joint briefing since the start of the water crisis, the Governor and Mayor are trying to shift the narrative on the perception that it’s the city versus state.

“You’ll have time in the future, to play the blame game and y’all can do all of that you want to do,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “You can do it in real time if you want to but ain’t got time for it.”

“This is a set of accumulated challenges that has taken place over the better part of three decades, which proceeds both myself and the governor,” said Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba. “Now what we’re focused on is the operational unity that we have operational unity means that we’re focused more on our common ends and objectives than any differences that we may have revealed at some point in time.”

Nevertheless, a blame game is how many have viewed it.

“We’ve been going it alone for the better part of two years when it comes to the Jackson water crisis,” said Lumumba Tuesday.

“Prior to Monday of this week the state of Mississippi runs exactly zero water systems,” the Governor noted Wednesday.

But even Jackson delegation at the Capitol seem ready to move beyond that.

“Polarizing politics brought us here,” said Rep. De’Keither Stamps. “And goodwill is gonna bring us forward. And the reality of the situation the state has been on the outside looking in. Now they’re on the inside looking out, and they realize that the reality of the situation is greater than they what they thought before.”

“I would say to folks who don’t live in the Jackson or the Hinds County area, the state has stepped in in the past and created regional utility authorities for the benefit of DeSoto County, for the benefit of six lower counties on the Gulf Coast,” noted Sen. David Blount. “The state has contributed significant money to Rankin County for a new sewer facility. So the state has done this in the past.”

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