Saturday, May 3, 2014

Is Jackson still rising?

Looks like the Jackson Rising conference did not exactly go as planned.  The new mayoratorial administration apparently pulled support for the event.  The Jackson Free Press reported:

A keystone of late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba's economic agenda, the Jackson Rising: New Economies Conference, which starts today, was almost derailed this week when the city of Jackson pulled its support for key elements of the event, said one of the conference's organizers....

Kali Akuno, a former (emphasis added)  Lumumba appointee, said the city was to provide Jackson police officers for security, as well as the required liability insurance for the conference, which takes place on the campus of Jackson State University; more than 500 people were expected to attend.

Having the city's support also would have granted Jackson Rising access to JSU's transportation services, as well as dormitories for low-income attendees traveling from out of state. Organizers learned earlier this week that the city, which promotional literature lists as a co-sponsor, along with the Jackson mayor's office, would not provide JPD services or insurance after all, Akuno said.

"We were working under the assumption that there was going to be a new administration in office and we assumed that whoever was in that (mayor's) seat would follow through" on the city's commitments, Akuno said.

In a statement to the Jackson Free Press, City Hall spokeswoman Pam Confer, said although the council did approve a resolution to support the conference, it "did not designate funds or resources to the event." She added: "Requests for financial or in-kind resources must be approved by the city council."

Akuno said that without the liability insurance, Jackson State would not have been able to host the conference, which touched off a scramble to find a new location. However, organizers were eventually able to work out an arrangement with JSU to pay about $1,000 for the needed insurance coverage. Organizers will also pay the cost of overtime for JSU campus police to provide security, Akuno said.

The unanticipated expenses will push up the total cost of putting on the three-day-long conference, which has already topped $100,000; a crowd-funding campaign raised $12,000, which will mostly pay for food.

Developing cooperatives was a major economic focus of Lumumba's. Jackson Rising aims to explore "the possibility of making Jackson, Mississippi, a center and example of economic democracy by building strong cooperatives and other forms of worker owned enterprises and financial institutions that will create jobs with dignity, stability, living wages, and quality benefits" and "to educate and mobilize the people of Jackson to meet the economic and sustainability needs of our community."

Akuno said even though the conference will go forward, he and other organizers would still like to know why the city pulled its support.

"Our strategy is, 'let's move forward per our commitments and we'll deal with the rest later,'" Akuno said. Article

Why isn't the JFP asking why the conference costs so much?  Why was JPD needed when JSU has its own police force? Is there some reason other events take place at JSU without much police presence, yet this conference required the police?  Then there is the matter of $100,00.  Why the hell did this conference cost so much? Especially when the Mayor submitted a budget that increased spending by 40%. 

Link to Jackson Rising website


Anonymous said...

What does he mean "provide housing for low-income attendees from out of state"?

Anonymous said...

Why isn't the JFP helping to sponsor the conference? Hmmmmm.

Anonymous said...

You think these people ever get tired of this kabuki ritual B.S.? Like, do they ever just sit down in the faculty lounge at JSU and level with each other?

Seriously, I just wonder if--in a rare moment of lucidity--anybody ever says, "Guys, it's not rocket science. When people make terrible choices, the city they live in is going to be terrible. You can rearrange the deck chairs from now until Jesus comes back, but it's still going to be the Titanic. So maybe we stop all these pointless committees and seminars? Maybe we just tell people they have to work a lot harder, delay gratification, and quit making so many stupid decisions?"

Anonymous said...

Interesting....did you see who one of the speakers at this conference is?

Omar Vierra, Deputy Consul General (based in Boston) for Venezuela.

Check out the program here:

Anonymous said...

I read both the interview on black turnout and this.
As for turnout, even if I were to assume accuracy ( which is difficult since we don't announce race on our ballots and the white neighborhoods are the more diverse),it would simply mean the son didn't inherit his father's support. And, it would mean that Yarber goes into office with significant support from the entire community.

Given the problems Jackson faces, it's hardly surprising that the new administration would be reluctant to finance a conference where " low income" people have to be transported in from outside the state.

If these cooperatives are succeeding elsewhere, private funding for speakers shouldn't be a problem.

I've no objection to the notion of employees as owners. Helping identify people with skills who can combine those skills into a successful business has merit. Helping people with creative skills and ideas link with those with sales and business skills can be productive.

But, The Jackson Rising people are long on jargon and short on specifics or examples of successful " cooperatives" in which any of them have been involved in creating.

They don't need a conference, they need to identify those with skills and experience in the community first and a conference of people from " out of state" doesn't do that.

I expect Mayor Yarber understood that.

Anonymous said...

@11:56AM...I can't agree more. I want to know just who these "out of town" broke people are and just why in the hell the tax payers are expected to finance them and pick up their tab....

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much of that $100k price tag was eaten up by speaker fees?

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of hypocritical parasites. Figure out a way to pay for your own damned conference without asking the taxpayers of Mississippi to pay for it. If JSU really diverted resources to support this faux-revolutionary nonsense, PEER and/or the State Auditor need to take a look.

Why did it cost so much? Speaker fees, naturally. This is nothing but a gigantic racket. Thank God Yarber shut it down.

Anonymous said...

Councilman Melvin Priester Jr. was listed as a supporter...

Anonymous said...

More like "Jackson Risible."

Anonymous said...

they have photos and some videos of speeches on facebook--if you are so moved. looks like they had a couple of hundred people.

7:11 is entirely right--long on speeches and short on results

Anonymous said...

So if a "white" group decided to have a conference and it's views were described like what is in this link then the national media would be here and these people would be labeled racist and terrorist. But since they are not white then everything is ok and the People should look away!

Anonymous said...

9:15 a.m.: Yep. You're right. It's just that simple.

Anonymous said...

After some additional research I'm not sure you want to post those comments you are holding about the cease and desist yet. If ever.

It looks like there are lots more connections, AFAIK non have been mentioned on JJ ever.

Following up on that cease and desist leads down the Jackson/Hinds County rabbit hole to more than one large dollar no bid contract.

Ill post more right here in the comments later tonight.

Looking at a possible RD link now...

Anonymous said...

1) Why did the most recent comment come nine years after the previous comment?

2) "the new administration would be reluctant to finance a conference where " low income" people have to be transported in from outside the state."

Don't we have any "low income" people around these parts? We could have saved a bundle right there.......

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