Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Power to the People

Participatory budgeting is apparently coming to Jackson, courtesy of the People's Assembly.  Othor Cain mentioned it on his Facebook page last week.  Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba's sister, Rukia, explained what would take place in a reply to Mr. Cain:

For clarity, the Participatory Budgeting Process of the People's Assembly is not grounded in the need for discretionary funds. Here is why.

The Participatory Budget Process of the People’s Assembly is a two year process. The first year is for residents to obtain an understanding of the city budget and the city budget process (i.e. how do you develop and approve a city’s budget). After learning the current city budget process, residents will propose a participatory budgeting framework for Jackson, and will ask the city to adopt their proposal. So the first year, is about education and process development.

In year two, based on the city's adoption of the residents' designed participatory budgeting process, residents will actually begin to participate in the city budget process Meaning in year two, 2019, the act of participatory budgeting will actually begin.

It should also be noted that there are several forms of participatory budgeting that DO NOT require the city to hand over discretionary funds. Discretionary funding is not the only form of participatory budgeting. In some cities residents develop a shadow budget that is proposed to City Counsel for adoption. In other cities, residents have been given a budget vote. Yet in other cities, residents only engage in part of the budget. Then in other cities residents fundraise to give the city a certain sum of money that they would like used in a particular way. And there are other participatory budgeting options that will be discussed at the training on June 5th and 6th. To learn more, please come to the training on June 5th & 6th.

This is all about creating a space for residents to have more say in how our City is governed.

Should you have any additional questions or concerns about the People's Assembly, please feel free to reach out to me and I am happy to respond. The more information you have, the more you know. I can be reached at jacksonpeoplesassembly@gmail.com

Finally, to clear confusion the People’s Assembly of Jackson is organized by residents and organizations of Jackson with coordination provided by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. It is NOT a project of the City, but the Mayor’s office does recognize it’s importance and utility as a form of resident engagement in governance. That is why the Mayor’s Team has committed to attending and actively engaging in the assembly process. I hope you will consider engaging in the process as well.
 (Reply #2)The People’s Assembly has deep study and analysis of participatory budgeting. We also have national consultants working with us to see this project through. Discretionary funding is absolutely not the only way to achieve participatory budgeting. That would be a very limited definition of the practice. As I mentioned before, I’m more than happy to discuss with you further.
 (Reply #3) The People’s Assembly, as a separate entity, is working with the Mayor’s office to push forward the opportunity for participatory budgeting. We have also reached out City Council Members to engage them in the process. Members of the Mayor’s Administration have at previous People’s Assemblies provided and will continue to provide residents with information about the current City Budget and the process to pass next years budget. A couple of City Council members have also expressed interest in educating residents on the city budget and its process. The goal is to make sure that (1) residents get the information they need so that they can make an informed recommendation of how participatory budgeting should operate in Jackson; and (2) to engage City government in the process from the beginning so that they can offer valuable insight as to what is and is not possible for Jackson.

 JJ will admit that it is not familiar with participatory budgeting.  However, more information can be found at this page on Cooperation Jackson's website.

Kingfish note: This is what the people want.  They voted for it a year ago.   Beer, popcorn, Lazy-boy.  


Anonymous said...

I think roads that don't kill people would be a great idea.

Anonymous said...

It’s not a terrible idea. The people need to see how badly the needs outweigh the means. If more people participated in the budget process at all levels, people would not be so quick to turn to government for every solution and would quit asking why “they” don’t fix our problems.

Kudos. Let the people see how tough these decisions are.

Anonymous said...

Pollyanna garbage.

Anonymous said...

In some cities residents develop a shadow budget that is proposed to City Counsel for adoption. In other cities, residents have been given a budget vote. Yet in other cities, residents only engage in part of the budget. Then in other cities residents fundraise to give the city a certain sum of money that they would like used in a particular way

But, but, but she purposefully avoids naming the cities.

Anonymous said...

Showing everyone the pretty rhetoric ribbon BabyChok plans to wrap around the next property tax increase.

Anonymous said...

The people will see that...awe screw it! Yawning and rolling my eyes now.

Anonymous said...

commune rules

Anonymous said...

Where has socialism ever worked?

Anonymous said...

Would those cities, per chance, include Addis Ababa, Caracas, and Moscow?

Anonymous said...

This sounds like an effort to justify a hundred pet projects around town to appease voters and have them ignore crumbling infrastructure and urban decay.

The budget needs to address the following:

- Fix the roads
- Fix the water/sewer infrastructure
- Fund basic services (police, fire, sanitation, transportation)

Things like the Zoo and Farish Street will have to wait until the city is livable again. You have to take a long view of these things, i.e. fix the not-so-sexy but necessary things first, then address the non-essentials.

A "People's Budget" will be all about gimme gimme gimme now, especially when it's presented as "our rights". I guess being the most radical city in America includes fiscal irresponsibility.

Anonymous said...

Lumumba's glacial pace is starting to make Harvey Johnson look effective.

Anonymous said...

FIOA the jacksonpeopleassembly@gmail.com and let's see how that goes over.

Jackson is FUBAR!

Anonymous said...

"The first year is for residents to obtain an understanding of the city budget and the city budget process (i.e. how do you develop and approve a city’s budget)."

Here....let me fix that for you:

"It will take ten years of night and day classes with remedial weekend followup for citizens to obtain an understanding of the city budget and the city budget process (i.e. how do you develop and approve a city’s budget)."

And from there we move to Step 2.

Anonymous said...

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"-Karl Marx

Socialism is a fine utopian ideal which some people, mostly academic types, would like to implement in a prosperous nation like the United States, rather than desperate countries with limited resources. Good luck. The problem with isolated pockets of socialism, like Jackson, is that no one with real financial resources will remain in a place where their wealth is confiscated by the destitute to be divided up and "redistributed". What will happen is that more and more will be confiscated from fewer and fewer resources. Ultimately the place will implode and even the poor will have to relocate to a place where resources are more plentiful. If Jackson existed in a vacuum without competing communities, or if the people were held captive (the working people) this vision might have a chance, but in the present world, these people if allowed to do so, will create a hellhole. But, they won't believe it until they do it. What a shame!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Through April Jackson sales tax diversions down another $540,000 this city fiscal.

Infrastructure special collection:
April 2016 = $1,425,034
April 2017 = $1,344,408
April 2018 = $1,311,249

"Deep study and analysis" not required to understand the stark realities.

Anonymous said...

Bottom line is to take from those paying taxes and give it to those who want/need it. More taxes and more direct payments until all wealth is redistributed . Soon after that, all wealth will be gone forever for the new owners will waste it quickly. At that point Jackson will a total ghost town.

Anonymous said...

From their website, "Individuals deeply moved by the Jackson-Kush Plan who are striving to see its vision of economic democracy realized launched Cooperation Jackson in the fall of 2013."

I'd bet a large portion of the taxes I pay that these people aren't worried about a certain sector of the Jackson Community and the educated and logical that would present a budget, would be shot down. They are looking for tax monies to be spent on hemp farms and co-ops for their needs, they could care less about real pressing issues. What is scary is while this is a group of amateur anarchists, they as well as the mayor, think the same.

Anonymous said...

My budget proposal: Divide the city into wards, about like they are now. Then each ward develops its own budget based upon the property taxes paid by its constituents. Case closed.

Anonymous said...

Watched the video. Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!

No way in hell this could ever work. Economics 101.

Anonymous said...

Rights come from needs? Did I hear that? Budgets come from needs?

It takes days and weeks to work out a budget just with department heads, adding random people (while adding transparency) would add... .....well it would not ever be completed.

I spent 35 years working on budgets with a major department store chain our budgets were larger than the city of Jackson. Input started with the Group VP, the General manager of the store, the Merchandise Manager of the store, the Divisional Manager of the store, the Department Manager of the store. This would be adding the people who worked there having input, damn!

Messick said...

Anything with the term “People’s” in the name smacks of Communism.

Wait until these clowns really get rolling and those bricks and pineapples of Madison will start looking pretty darn good.

Anonymous said...

That "get what you need and give what you can" stuff isn't going to work very well with the exodus of givers from Jackson and the existing imbalance in givers vs. receivers. Should make for some interesting TV though.

Anonymous said...

So.. What's the point of having elected representation? Let's do this at the federal level too! ALL this says to me is TOO many cooks in the kitchen!

SoufSide Weezy said...

12:30 PM majority of the tax paying constituents live in Madison and Niknar County. They rent me-maw and pawpaw old house in "Souf" Jackson to make a buck for that stucco palace.

Anonymous said...

People's Budget item #1: $1,000,000 for a statue of Chokwe Lumumba, Sr. and a community center to be erected at Freedom Corner (Corner of Medgar Evers and MLK), to be funded by a special property tax on homes with an assessed value greater than $500,000.

The people have spoken. Cough it up.

Anonymous said...

Hey 1:33. It doesn't just smack of Communism. it is Communism.

Watch the video. You can just barely hear "The Internationale" playing under the soothing, Hypnotic music. (Obey. Obey)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I trust that the Mayor and his Kush coalition will make sure that Marcus Wallace gets an invitation to participate so that he can get more money for pothole repair in the budget. AND, money for assistance in filing for and receiving proper certifications; and insurance; and experience - to be able to participate in that budget category.

Asking for a friend, who lives in Utica and doesn't have good internet down there.

Anonymous said...

“Forced into poverty”.


Most people in the US are in poverty because of poor life decisions. It’s not the job of a city to give you money you lazy assholes.

Anonymous said...

Please define "excessive wealth." Who gets to decide what is excessive and what is not?

Anonymous said...

Excessive wealth would depend on what the budget requires to satisfy the "needs" as defined by the peoples assembly. If the peoples assembly decides the people need 4 loaves of bread and there are only 3 in the city's revenues, you had better not have any bread that you haven't eaten or that bread will be confiscated as "excessive wealth" to be redistributed to the people. It's a sliding scale. In Jackson there will be no such thing as wealth so don't worry about it.

Anonymous said...

I see many have their spoon stirring this morning in an effort to get a tempest going in their liquid of choice .

1. Citizens participating in the process of government is not socialism.
2. There are citizens with skills in budgets, indeed, some of them may even be forensic accountants and more skilled than those the government can afford to hire.
3. Government that is isolated from it's citizens and unaware of the problems they encounter and the consequences of government policy is not good government.
4. Good ideas can come from outside a system.
5. Those in government ( or anywhere else) don't know everything and can't know what they don't know.

Example: Not so long ago ALL junior colleges presidents in MS and the boards of trustees were males. Most of the students of the junior colleges ( their target market) were women who were mothers as were many of the employees. It had not occurred to the men that providing day care as part of " hands on " learning for those careers where knowledge of child development and child care could be part of the curriculum and pay for itself.

That did not change by whining, criticism and casting blame. That came from pointing out the obvious and backing it up with facts and solutions.

I've no doubt there will be some efforts to " distribute wealth" and I have yet to be impressed by The People's Assembly or see that it has achieved anything worthwhile.

I'm certain, some will seize the opportunity to try to feather their own nests or bitch or just reveal how truly ignorant they are and thus waste time.

However, I hate to break the news to some of you , but it is no better to give your tax dollars wealthy to the wealthy than to the poor if it doesn't give you a return on that dollar that can be demonstrated. Money badly spent is money badly spent. If tax money doesn't improve society and invest in a better future or solve existing problems, it's wasted. And, good ideas can come and have come from unlikely places outside the structural organization.

1:30 pm some of your budget changes were driven by customer complaints and your marketing division. If they didn't, your retail store probably isn't still in business.

Anonymous said...

My curiosity is peaked enough for me to want to be involved in this Participatory Budgeting process. Maybe we'll can find areas to cut that the staff doesn’t see clearly.

Anonymous said...

You may or may not recall some months back that Nextdoor bully Tom Head was openly advocating that any Community Improvement District legislation should use the rule of law to force neighborhoods implementing a CID to redistribute some percentage of that neighborhood's self-imposed CID collections to other neighborhoods in Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately nothing will change.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS