Editorials

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EDITORIAL: City Needs to Name Officers Who Shot Citizens Without Delay

We can understand the need to protect officers and their families, but it is not acceptable to allow it based on a reason shrouded in secrecy.

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EDITORIAL: Free Press Is Not Here to Comfort the Powerful; We're Here for Truth

The Jackson Free Press, and its editors and journalists, have come under fire many times since we launched 16 years ago in Mississippi's capital city.

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EDITORIAL: Dear Mississippi Politicians, Criminal Justice Reform Is More Than Rhetoric

This week the Mississippi Department of Corrections will host a re-entry symposium in Jackson, a necessary step to re-engage stakeholders involved with the criminal justice system, from lawmakers and mental-health professionals to judges and experts.

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EDITORIAL: Transparency in Officer Shootings Needs to Improve, Not Worsen

We now get even less information about officer-involved shootings. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations does not have to disclose information concerning any open or closed investigations except to law enforcement.

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EDITORIAL: Low Primary Turnout Should Force Voter Engagement

The sickest part of our elections is that people who run campaigns don't think voters here are very smart or that they have evolved at all as an electorate in recent decades.

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EDITORIAL: City Should Prioritize ‘Rainy Day’ Funds for Emergencies

Despite recent catastrophes, the Jackson City Council has been using its fund balance or "rainy-day" fund for city-clerk salaries and festivals—items that are fundamentally non-essential.

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EDITORIAL: City Must Become Proactive, Not Reactive to Problems

Now that a promising young woman has died because of a massive systems failure in the City, allow us to repeat ourselves: This administration cannot afford to be reactionary to the mounting issues in the City.

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EDITORIAL: Feds Must Stop Cruel Deportations, Rethink ‘War on Drugs’

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers are arresting more undocumented immigrants now than under the previous administration—nonviolent undocumented men and women as Donald Trump uses scare tactics about dangerous immigrant gangs to justify deportations and splitting up families for just the crime of being undocumented.

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EDITORIAL: Citizens, Be Informed and Vigilant About ‘One Lake’ Project

If you haven't paid attention to the proposed flood-control/development project called "One Lake" along the Pearl River, now is the time to help vet the ambitious plan.

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EDITORIAL: City Council, Stop Posturing and Start Preparing

Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes, dare we say, stoked the fire at last week's Jackson City Council meeting during the heated conversation on moving the Jackson Zoo.

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EDITORIAL: Reform Requires Long-Term Planning, Reducing Private Prisons

Bipartisan criminal-justice reform is something to sing about, and we applaud the Mississippi Legislature and the governor for passing and signing House Bill 387 into law this session.

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EDITORIAL: Leaders, Roads and Bridges Trump Your Tax Cuts

Gephyrophobia translates into fear of bridges, and it's perfectly rational for Mississippians around the state to be suffering from that phobia following the closure of more than 100 "dangerous" bridges.

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EDITORIAL: Lumumba Administration Must Be Proactive, Appoint Promptly

There's a modern-day adage that is good advice for the Lumumba administration: "Stay ready so you don't have to get ready."

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EDITORIAL: Legislature Budgets for Critical Needs, Neglects Others

The 2018 legislative session's story largely revolves around Republicans' inability to get a lot done due to failed negotiations between the House and the Senate.

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EDITORIAL: Mayor, JPD, Get on Same Page About Officer Shootings

When it comes to police transparency, Jackson is on a volatile tectonic plate that could cause tremors at any moment. Especially when City officials are the ones off-kilter and inconsistent.

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EDITORIAL: Public Officials, Get Facts Straight on Project EJECT

There are two sides to the proverbial Project EJECT coin: what the public hears and what actually happens.

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EDITORIAL: Stop Hurting Women as a Campaign Strategy

Constituents need to hold lawmakers accountable who are more interested in scoring political points than they are about ensuring women, especially black women, are protected.

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EDITORIAL: Cheers to Senate, But More Ed Attacks Ahead

Bravo to the Mississippi Senate for actually listening to their constituents and killing the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula proposal.

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EDITORIAL: JPD, Identify Cops Who Shoot Civilians

Mayor Lumumba's order does not address the glaring need for JPD to release names of officers who use excessive and/or fatal force on civilians—the progressive needle does not move without this transparent practice, which departments around the country embrace often within 48 or 72 hours of an incident.

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EDITORIAL: It’s Time to Re-Visit Mississippi’s Gun Laws

Current state law allows a Mississippian with an enhanced concealed-carry license to carry their firearms into polling places, government meetings, college athletic events, bars, elementary schools, airport terminals and college campuses.

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EDITORIAL: Time to Implement Criminal Justice Reforms

Four years ago, the Legislature patted itself on the back for reforming Mississippi's criminal-justice system with sweeping legislation that was arguably one of the most impactful pieces of public policy passed in recent years.

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EDITORIAL: Legislators, Kill the Flawed Voucher Bill

The notion of "school choice" is deeply embedded in the Capitol this session. Senate Education Chairman Gray Tollison, R-Oxford, wants to expand the state's voucher program drastically, allowing any child in public school to use a voucher next year.

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EDITORIAL: City Contracting Is a Mess, Must Be Repaired

It didn't take two women who can't get payment for hauling nasty sludge from a wastewater-treatment plant to convince the Jackson Free Press that the City's contracting system is a mess, and ripe for abuse and corruption.

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OPINION: Time to Work Across Aisle on Ed Funding

After lawmakers went home in April 2017, there were no public meetings, hearings or presentations to offer clues as to whether the Republican supermajority planned to use all, part, some or none of EdBuild's suggested changes to the state's education funding formula.

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EDITORIAL: Tell the Truth Now, Politic Later

Ever since Gov. Phil Bryant gave his "State of the State" address, and "Mississippi Today" chose to factcheck it but not the Democratic respondent, the media circuit around the capitol as well as some state lawmakers have been busy debating whether it is possible to be both nonpartisan and unbiased.

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EDITORIAL: Water Successes, Public Information Losses

The new year ushered in a freezing cold front that put our pipes and infrastructure to the test. Seeing that we're in the second week of the year and also week two of a system-wide boil-water notice, Jackson didn't quite pass.

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EDITORIAL: Equity, Transparency in Ed Formula Re-Write

From kindergarten to colleges and universities, education expenses make up more than half of the state's proposed budget.

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EDITORIAL: Time for Evidence-based Crime Prevention at JPD

As this year comes to a close, so will Jackson Police Chief Lee Vance's 30-year career in the Jackson Police Department, who announced his retirement on Dec. 20.

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EDITORIAL: Not Addressing Statewide Health Is Short-Sighted

Workforce development, continuing education and job training are all important but really quite futile without a long-term plan for the Mississippians to take those jobs. People must be healthy in order to go to school, find work and stay in jobs.

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EDITORIAL: Legislature Needs to Address Teacher Shortages

Technically, if districts on probation due to a lack of licensed staff can't come up with certified staff by next July, they could be in danger of losing their accreditation, and they means a state takeover. It is time to look at solutions beyond takeovers to address teacher shortages, however.

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