Elect

Margaret Barrett-Simon for Mayor

Jackson, Mississippi

April 8, 2014


For 29 years Margaret Barrett Simon has been working the halls of city government on behalf of her constituents.  From the southern most street in her ward to the northern most, she has walked the neighborhoods, returned the phone calls, and attended the meetings.  When someone needs help, Margaret knows what to do.  She knows getting the job done is more important than any political agenda.

 


 

News

Monday, April 7, 2014 10:47 PM

Before my father died, he said, Margaret, you are going to be the mayor of Jackson one day. Those words carry me now, when the timing before was nev

Before my father died, he said, "Margaret, you are going to be the mayor of Jackson one day." Those words carry me now, when the timing before was never quite right.

We called my father “Pop.” He was a theater projectionist at the Lamar Theatre, and his best friend, Ed Henry, was also a projectionist who worked at the Alamo Theater on Farish Street. The Alamo Theatre was the only theatre that admitted black patrons. 

During the civil rights movement, the state of Mississippi (along with the rest of the Deep South) didn't want the real story of what was happening to get out to the outside world. They did a fairly good job of hiding the terrible daily injustices. Mississippi did not have a union, so the national networks had no local labor available to them when they came here. All they had was a reporter and a microphone.

Pop started the local chapter of the I.A.T.S.E. (Local 589), which still exists today. Local 589 provided lighting and sound and footage to the networks, which enabled the real story of what was happening in Mississippi to be reported to the whole world. My father and Mr. Ed, as he was affectionately known, joined forces and members of Local 589 and 589-A merged together June 14, 1974 to become one. Brother Carroll Evans transferred his membership into Local 589 at that time and is still working as the head Flyman at Thalia Mara Hall.

Pop was the President of the Union until his death in 1982. He also had duties during the civil rights struggles being on call for CBS and NBC News. He was there when the bodies of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner were found, he was there on the Selma to Montgomery march, he was there for the church bombings and school desegregation, and he was there at Jackson State. 

Pop and our family became a target of hatred because of his efforts to give those discriminated against a voice. He knew guns pointed at him, vile, contemptible words hurled at him; he had spit in his face. 

My father knew how horrible racism is; he knew hate and he knew his family would never be a part of the injustice that he had seen. He knew that fighting against that injustice was the right thing to do despite the risks. Much of the footage that you see today from the civil rights era became available only because my father took a stand and fought for what he knew to be right. He knew that we had to be one, or we would all lose. 

The biggest lessons that Pop taught me were to fight for equality and to always do the right thing, no matter if it is popular or safe. Perhaps most importantly, he and his friends set an example that people from all walks of life can come together to accomplish great things.We called my father “Pop.” He was a theater projectionist at the Lamar Theatre, and his best friend, Ed Henry, was also a projectionist who worked at the Alamo Theater on Farish Street. The Alamo Theatre was the only theatre that admitted black patrons. 

During the civil rights movement, the state of Mississippi (along with the rest of the Deep South) didn't want the real story of what was happening to get out to the outside world. They did a fairly good job of hiding the terrible daily injustices. Mississippi did not have a union, so the national networks had no local labor available to them when they came here. All they had was a reporter and a microphone.

Pop started the local chapter of the I.A.T.S.E. (Local 589), which still exists today. Local 589 provided lighting and sound and footage to the networks, which enabled the real story of what was happening in Mississippi to be reported to the whole world. My father and Mr. Ed, as he was affectionately known, joined forces and members of Local 589 and 589-A merged together June 14, 1974 to become one. Brother Carroll Evans transferred his membership into Local 589 at that time and is still working as the head Flyman at Thalia Mara Hall.

Pop was the President of the Union until his death in 1982. He also had duties during the civil rights struggles being on call for CBS and NBC News. He was there when the bodies of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner were found, he was there on the Selma to Montgomery march, he was there for the church bombings and school desegregation, and he was there at Jackson State. 

Pop and our family became a target of hatred because of his efforts to give those discriminated against a voice. He knew guns pointed at him, vile, contemptible words hurled at him; he had spit in his face. 

My father knew how horrible racism is; he knew hate and he knew his family would never be a part of the injustice that he had seen. He knew that fighting against that injustice was the right thing to do despite the risks. Much of the footage that you see today from the civil rights era became available only because my father took a stand and fought for what he knew to be right. He knew that we had to be one, or we would all lose. 

The biggest lessons that Pop taught me were to fight for equality and to always do the right thing, no matter if it is popular or safe. Perhaps most importantly, he and his friends set an example that people from all walks of life can come together to accomplish great things.


Monday, April 7, 2014 5:18 PM

Crime in Jackson

Crime in Jackson: We invested in a huge strategy tool, the Maple-Linder study, to improve our responses to crime. The CompStat report that they pioneered provides an accountability and management strategy for police departments, with the goal of mapping crime and identifying problems with geographical information systems. Other cities have adopted the principles in this study with tangible positiv...e results.

We received this study many years ago. It has not been fully implemented, although pieces of it – like better equipment, COPS meetings, and Metro One – have been adopted and have been successful. We need to go further and use all of these contemporary techniques, and this will be a major priority in my administration.

We also need to foster a culture of accountability in each neighborhood. Stronger and more cohesive communities result in lower crime rates. I would like to see more police officers who live in the neighborhoods that they are policing, and we need to pay them more. We need a version of community policing that is responsible, organized, and compassionate.

We need to do all of these things and more. But before that, we need to understand that the problem of crime is a symptom of a much bigger disease. Our young men and women need a future that is filled with hope instead of shortcuts. They need better schools and more jobs. They need to believe that, if they work hard and play by the rules that are here to protect us all, there will be good things waiting for them. If we make the criminal’s path seem like a lost opportunity instead of a way out, we will all be safer and enjoy the quality of life we all seek.


Sunday, April 6, 2014 4:41 PM

Unifier

I have been a unifier my entire career. I’ve served the most diverse ward in the city – one that has an African-American majority – for 29 years, and I have a broad base of support from across that ward. Everything good that we have accomplished has come, to a large degree, from my ability to bring people together in partnership for the greater good.

Starting from Day One, I plan to reach out to ...the leaders of neighborhoods from each ward, across the city, and start building partnerships with those leaders. I plan to use tools like the Nextdoor social media platform – which has been a huge success for several neighborhood associations – to improve communication between my team and the people who live in these neighborhoods. It’s proven to be very effective in many ways, from helping people find lost dogs to organizing and publicizing meetings with the JPD. I think we need to adopt the Nextdoor platform at the citywide level and integrate it with neighborhood associations across Jackson. We must communicate efficiently and effectively to work as a team.

More broadly, I will institute an open door policy in my office, so that any citizen can communicate with me and with my team. I’ve done that in Ward 7, and I want that to be a model for the entire city.


Sunday, April 6, 2014 12:06 PM

My Supporters are from all walks of life


Sunday, April 6, 2014 12:03 PM

LGBTQ-Rights for Everyone

I was asked whether I would support an LGBTQ rights resolution in Jackson like the ones that Starkville, Oxford and Hattiesburg have passed. My answer: of course. It is a fundamental question not only of civil rights, but of basic human decency. We are all equal members of this community, and every person – regardless of sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, or background – deserves to be treated with the same measure of dignity and respect. Doing so, through official policy where necessary, will be an unyielding principle of my administration.


Committee to Elect Margaret Barrett-Simon
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