With reports of over 180,000 residents around Jackson, Miss. having no clean water for drinking/cooking, for the foreseeable future, African Americans from numerous U.S. cities are calling on President Joe Biden to authorize billions of dollars in emergency funds to address both the current humanitarian crisis triggered by the flooding in addition to financing the implementation of long-term action steps to correct decades-long operational neglect of water systems in Jackson, Miss.
Vincent Verdree of the December 12th Movement announced that a press conference will be held on Friday, Sept. 2 at 4 p.m. in front of the Harlem State Office Building located at 163 West 125th Street (corner of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd and 125th Street).
Jackson, Miss. Mayor, Chokwe Antar Lumumba, said “We are looking for a coalition of the willing to join us in the fight to improve this system that has been failing for decades.”
Although the White House announced late Tuesday that Joe Biden approved Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves’ request for a federal emergency declaration, it remains unclear whether this measure will include more than short-term relief.
Lumumba expressed frustration that there was no previous long-term commitment from officials to replace or upgrade Jackson’s water system. He estimated that it would take about $1 billion to fully improve the system.
“Until it is fixed, we do not have reliable running water at scale,” Reeves said Tuesday, in an announcement that activated the National Guard and declared a state of emergency. “The city cannot produce enough water to fight fires, to flush toilets and to meet other critical needs.”