Let’s face it, 2020 was a tough year. And whenever there are challenges, you can find out how strong you are. Mississippi and the Mississippi Delta, you have shown your resilience and resolve in times past, and you have held up strong again. Even before Covid-19, we have had challenges with Education, Healthcare, and Economic Growth. The pandemic essentially exposed many of the root causes of why the Mississippi Delta and parts of Mississippi are not positioned for long term growth. Here are a few of my priorities to address these items going into 2021:
***Support 100% broadband to every home in Mississippi
***Press for criminal justice reform (better reentry programs, more rehabilitative services, and pay increase for corrections officers)
***Improve Educator and State Employee pay
***Fund MAEP (Mississippi Adequate Education Program)
***Invest more into infrastructure (roads, bridges, sewer, & water)
***Push for early voting in Mississippi
***Ensure food insecurity becomes a priority
***Shrink the healthcare gap
***Support the creative economy
Don't get me wrong, I acknowledge we have made some strides. With the retirement of the Mississippi State flag, legislation to remove a Jim Crow era law, and legalization of medicinal marijuana, Mississippi is showing signs of progress and I could not be more proud. If she keeps pushing, she will eventually get there but we must never give up on her for the sake of those before us who paved the way and the future of our children and grandchildren who depend on our decisions. To my colleagues, I look forward to that same spirit as we embark on 2021.
Additionally, it was inspiring to be a part of helping to shape policy around how to appropriate the $1.25 billion Cares Act funds from the federal government. It didn’t matter if you were a Democrat, Republican, or Independent, the priority to us all was that the money and resources got put in places to help Mississippians. I am proud of how we attempted to put party aside and do good work for the people of Mississippi. The future of our Dear State depends on what we do today.
Happy New Year to the constituents of House District 29 (Bolivar and Sunflower Counties), my colleagues in the Mississippi Legislature, and anyone who has got love for my home state of Mississippi.