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Jackson Mayor Wants More JXN Water Engagement, Says More Road Repairs Coming

JACKSON, Miss.—Officials overseeing repairs to the long-beleaguered water system in Mississippi’s capital city need to spend more time engaging with residents who still have concerns about their water bills and the quality of their drinking water, Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba said this week.

He made the remarks while speaking to local residents during a town hall at Redeemer Church where he also discussed paving neighborhood streets and mitigating flooding concerns. He said JXN Water, the entity in charge of the water system, needs to do more outreach.

“First of all, let me be clear, I am the biggest cheerleader of Ted Henifin. And I have to be because his success is our success,” the mayor said Tuesday, referring to the interim third party manager that a court appointed to oversee Jackson’s water system and repairs following the 2022 water crisis. “But no one is in a position that I’m going to say, ‘It’s OK that you don’t listen to the concerns of every community because you haven’t been here for 30 years suffering from the water insecurity that the people of Jackson have suffered from.’ So I want community engagement.”

“That’s not a commercial on TV. That’s not paying for radio advertisements. Community engagement is listening to people and listening to their circumstances and experiences,” he continued. “We’re going to ensure—because we fought for that (federal infrastructure) money—that we not only have an equitable system, that we not only have a reliable system, but that we are honest with people as we’re working to rebuild the system.”

Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba (right) is pictured at a November 2022 press conference with Ted Henifin, the interim third-party manager of Jackson’s water system. Photo by Nick Judin

JXN Water sent the following statement to the Mississippi Free Press on Monday in response to the mayor’s initial comments:

“JXN Water is committed to meeting all requirements of the Interim Stipulated Order which include the requirement to: Regularly consult with the Director of Public Works on all aspects of complying with this Stipulated Order and advise, consult, and collaborate with the Director

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