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Feature Photo #1

Mississippi House Democratic Chair David Baria, Senate Democratic Chair Derrick Simmons, and I agree that the Roads and Bridge Crisis is a safety issue that must be addressed NOW!!! The Mississippi Legislative Democratic Caucus Transportation Infrastructure Crisis Hearing held May 17 at the State Capitol offered an opportunity for those charged with maintaining our transportation system at every level to be heard. Thanks to Representative Baria and Senator Simmons for offering stakeholders the opportunity to share their perspective on the issue and proposed solutions to the crisis. Please Click Here for more detailed information from the meeting. 

Feature Photo #2


 

Thanks to Ray Brooks High School (formerly Nugent Center High School) for allowing me to be the keynote speaker at their graduation in May. Though a small class (14 students), they have BIG potential. My Mom and Dad attended high school there so I was honored to grace the halls. As I always say, Rural Communities Matter!!!



Please scroll to the  bottom  to read my April and May compilation newsletter. While out of session, I will send out a communication every couple months to keep people abreast of my happenings.  Also, you can forward the newsletter to others  who might want to be better informed about the political process. Thanks for your engagement. In the email, I have included the following:

**Photojournal
**Change the Flag
**Corrections Challenges
**How to Contact Legislators

If you click on the blue hyperlinks in the newsletter, you will be directed to an article, bill or a link. Please read this pertinent information.

Here I am asking Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Pelicia Hall a question. Bolivar County Sheriff Kelvin Williams requested that Senator Willie Simmons and I attend the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) hearing to address declines in regional prison revenue. Because I am on the Corrections Committee, I am always glad to learn more about this Department. Currently, the MDOC has a budget of $345 Million but will probably run at a deficit this year. This is a perfect example of why we must not become reliant on this industry for job creation. Click Here to read more.

In this photo, I was volunteering at the Bolivar County Lion's Club annual steak fundraiser. The money was used to purchase an automated vision machine (to be used locally) and donate to disaster relief efforts.


A few weeks ago, Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation members entertained State Senator Willie Simmons and I on a farming tour. At the Port of Rosedale, we heard how harvested commodities are off loaded at the grain elevator, fertilizer is loaded on to trucks, and finally how the commodities are transported on the Mississippi River. Last, we found out how important technology is on the farm. Click Here to see more photographs.


Thanks to all the citizens of Mound Bayou for coming to the town hall on April 17th at Alcorn State University Extension Center. Additionally, we had town hall meetings in Shelby, Mississippi (May 15th) and Rosedale, Mississippi (May 22nd). I appreciated hearing your questions and comments. Click Here to see more photos from the event.


Lula Bovan's loved ones celebrated her 100th birthday. Almost 100 family and friends came out to pay honor, share laughs, and enjoy dinner with Lula in Rosedale, Mississippi. Thanks for the invite!!!


It was good seeing Mike Espy (former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture) in House District 29 a few weeks ago at the Winstonville, Mississippi Homecoming in May. I am excited about his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.


During Fall 2012 and Spring 2013, I was a visiting professor at Delta State University when I met Liston Sage. Recently, I bumped into him in Jackson, Mississippi and congratulated him on his career, business, & family success.


In April, I attended the bill signing for House Bill 387. As stated by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), this law includes smart reforms that will lower taxpayer costs, and provide a second chance for thousands of Mississippians. Click Here to read more about this legislation:


Cleveland Central High School student Mary Margaret Weeks was recognized as a Lindy Callahan Scholar in April. I was glad to share the moment with Principal Randy Grierson, Athletic Director Leroy Cotton, and, most importantly, her family at an intimate luncheon in Jackson, Mississippi at the Hilton Hotel.


Eudora Welty is an inspirational Mississippian. I am glad Laurin Stennis painted a mural of her in the Belhaven district in Jackson, Mississippi.

Mona Nicholas, executive director of the USA International Ballet Competition (USA IBC), spoke at the Cleveland Rotary Club on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at the Cleveland Country Club. The USA IBC with 119 competitors from 19 nations will compete in the 2018 USA IBC, the official international ballet competition of the United States by a Joint Resolution of Congress. Held every four years in Jackson, Mississippi, the upcoming USA IBC is slated for June 10-23, 2018. Please visit the USA IBC website for more information: https://www.usaibc.com/


You know, we (people in general) often give law enforcement a hard time. I am sure the Mississippi State Trooper thought I was taking a picture to report something negative. I simply wanted to "give props" for him helping a citizen who was stranded on Highway 61 somewhere near Bolivar and Coahoma Counties. Usually, good deeds go unnoticed, but I wanted to shed some positive light on those who protect us.



 

In this photo, I am with Rachel Mayes of Southern Echo, Inc. In April, they had a full day training about community advocacy. The sessions engaged attendees in strategic dialogue around organizing for the 2020 Census, Voter Rights, & Redistricting. I was glad to see people from Hinds, Bolivar, Sunflower, Tunica, and Washington Counties at the meeting as we prepare for statewide elections in 2019 and the U.S. Census in 2020. Click Here to see more photos. 


This is a photograph of the John F. Kennedy Boys & Girls track teams next to the North Bolivar School District bus. The girls are the 1A State Champs and the boys came in third. Senator Willie Simmons had them for lunch at The Senator's Place as part of their celebration. I just so happened to be at the restaurant getting a bite to eat. 

Bolivar County Community Action Agency recently hosted Senator Willie Simmons, Senator Gray Tollison, and I at the Mound Bayou, Mississippi facility. During my remarks, I urged Senator Gray Tollison (Senate Education Chair) to remember what he saw and heard from the students and faculty as we craft legislation that impacts rural school districts. This is a photograph captures a presentation a few of the kids in the Bolivar County Headstart Program made for those of us in attendance.


I enjoy getting young people engaged in Mississippi history. Most times they have to be convinced. However, this young lady, Mckenzie, asked her Dad if I could take her on a Civil Rights tour. While we were at one of our first stops, I was glad to see individuals from Civil Rides. In the photos, the group was in Ruleville, Mississippi paying homage to Fannie Lou Hamer, and I took time to speak to cyclist. Click Here to see more photographs from that day. 


Pam Confer wrote a song entitled "Mississippi Beautiful" and was asked to perform it at the Cleveland Central High School graduation. She and I took a photo together after the ceremony. Click Here to see a snippet of the song, and the big crowd in attendance at the first graduation for the consolidated school.


In April, Dr. Leslie McLemore was honored for his years of service by the Sigma Iota Lambda graduate chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated held a brunch in Southaven, Mississippi. At the same event, I was asked to speak about the"A Voteless People is a Hopeless People" initiative. In this photo, Dr. McLemore, Jerry Redmon (chapter member), and I shared a moment.


Thanks to Corey Miguel Hollingsworth and his crew for inviting me to the Big K.R.I.T. concert in Memphis, Tennessee. This artist is very PROUD of his native MISSISSIPPI. Click Here to listen to live concert footage. (And these are not gang signs: The 4's the guys are holding up represents "4eva is a Mighty Long Time." It's the title of Big K.R.I.T. 's new album.)

My Aunt Louise Holliman had a celebration for my grandmother, Catherine Holliman, who is 83 years old. She is seated front and center in the red dress!!! It wasn't her birthday, but it was a time to just let her know how much the family appreciates her. Love you Gramps!!!


In early April, I attended the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Regional Convention in Memphis, Tennessee. Next year the gathering will be in our very own Jackson, Mississippi from March 21st thru March 24th, 2019. Here I am photographed with National President Everett B. Ward, Southern Regional Vice President and Kelsey Rushing.


Juke Joint Festival was the second weekend of April in Clarksdale, Mississippi. I took this photo with a visitor outside Red's Blues Club Representative Orlando Paden's Father owns the historic blues venue.


Opinions & Perspectives
 
Change the Flag
 
Make no mistake, I love this state and there is no other place I'd rather live. However, We need rise up and change what the outside world and our youth think about Mississippi. It's time for us to move into a new era of progress in our beloved state. Though there are pressing issues before us in the Mississippi Legislature, I don't want us to forget that we need to change the flag!!!
 
Furthermore, in Mississippi, we have different heritage trails that we all associate. Personally, I'd never want the heritage I am associated with to offend any individual. To me, that's just what our state flag does to many hard working Mississippians. It is a reminder of slavery and the division the institution created in the deep South. Though it is a painful conversation for many Mississippians, I will not stop addressing this topic.




Corrections Challenges

Shortly after the 2018 legislative session, I visited and toured Civic Core (formerly CCA) with other legislators, several staff from Mississippi Department of Corrections, and other stakeholders. It is a private prison in Tallahatchie County. At that time, there were no Mississippi inmates at this facility. That may soon change...
 
Due to the trend across the country to release non-violent offenders at Civic Core, there is a reduction of inmates from other states. Hence, inmates will be leaving this facility to go back to their home states. Additionally, the fact Unit 29 at Parchman has so many facility issues, some Mississippi inmates could eventually be transferred to Civic Core. If this happens, many folks who work there may have to reapply for jobs at this privately run prison.
 
Although I don't agree with this, I would like the people I represent who work at Parchman in Unit 29 to know they may potentially have to reapply for their jobs or worse find new employment. I look forward to continuing the work I am doing with other stakeholders to create additional job opportunities in the Mississippi Delta so that we aren't as reliant on this industry for job creation.



How to Contact Legislators

Please email your Representatives and Senators via group email at the following addresses: Representatives@house.ms.gov and Senators@senate.ms.gov.


Stay in Touch With Social Media

You can stay in touch with Abe by using social media. Follow him on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. Please click the links below and be a part of what's going on in the Mississippi Delta.
 
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    Representative Abe M. Hudson, Jr. | 662-522-1400www.abemhudsonjr.com

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