March 17, 2014
Ward 7 Jackson City Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon announced her candidacy for mayor this morning.
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“We now find ourselves at a crossroads,” she said, given the sad and untimely death of Chokwe Lumumba last month. Jackson needs a progressive, forward-looking mayor to work for the entire city and continue the work Lumumba started, she said, and it’s vital that the new mayor has a proven record of working with people from all over the city. With 29 years of experience on the city council, Barrett-Simon said she fits that description.
She also called for her fellow council member’s support.
“The time for petty politics and turf battles are over,” she said. Instead, the council and other city leaders should be engaging in constructive dialog.
As mayor, Barrett-Simon said that economic development, tackling the city’s infrastructure issues, improving safety and putting the city’s “fiscal house in order” would be her top priorities.
Asked whether she would be able to pull enough support in a city that is more than 75 percent African American, Barrett-Simon said that her ward--which includes downtown, Bellhaven and Fondren--is surprisingly diverse. She has always worked equally for all her constituents. As to her decision to run, Barrett-Simon said her supporters have approached her on numerous occasions over the years.
“Maybe it’s time,” she said, adding that her many years of experience is her greatest asset.
If elected, Barrett-Simon said that it would be “the greatest blessing in a career filled with blessings.”
Jacksonians go to the polls for the primary elections on April 8.