News Release

“Most Revolutionary Mayor” Dies — Will the “Jackson Plan” Proliferate?

AP from Jackson, Miss.: “Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, a prominent lawyer and human rights activist who persuaded voters here to accept a sales tax to fix crumbling roads and dated water and sewer systems, died Tuesday, the authorities said. He was 66.”
AJAMU BARAKA, ajamubaraka2 at gmail.com
Baraka is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and a columnist for Black Agenda Report. He said today: “Chokwe Lumumba’s passing is a significant blow for progressive politics in the U.S. and especially for the aspirations of African Americans. His election represented the hope that a progressive African American can take power and really do something for working class and poor people in an urban area. With his passing, we’re deprived of his work for a localized struggle for power, but hopefully the coalition he helped build and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement can continue on the progressive trajectory they were on.”

See from “Democracy Now!”: “Chokwe Lumumba: Remembering ‘America’s Most Revolutionary Mayor.’” A commentary this month by Black Agenda Report executive editor Glen Ford “A Tale of Three Cities: Newark, Jackson, Seattle” had just highlighted the successes of what Lumumba was doing in Jackson.

See from the website of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement: “The Jackson Plan: A Struggle for Self-Determination, Participatory Democracy, and Economic Justice,” which states: “The Jackson Plan is an initiative to apply many of the best practices in the promotion of participatory democracy, solidarity economy, and sustainable development and combine them with progressive community organizing and electoral politics. The objectives of the Jackson Plan are to deepen democracy in Mississippi and to build a vibrant, people centered solidarity economy in Jackson and throughout the state of Mississippi that empowers Black and other oppressed peoples in the state.

“The Jackson Plan has many local, national and international antecedents, but it is fundamentally the brain child of the Jackson People’s Assembly. The Jackson People’s Assembly is the product of the Mississippi Disaster Relief Coalition that was spearheaded by MXGM in 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of Gulf Coast communities in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Texas. Between 2006 and 2008, this coalition expanded and transformed itself into the Jackson People’s Assembly. In 2009, MXGM and the People’s Assembly were able to elect human rights lawyer and MXGM co-founder Chokwe Lumumba to the Jackson City Council representing Ward 2.”