U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders is visiting Mississippi to talk about the lasting impact of Martin Luther King, Jr. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports from a town hall meeting Sanders headlined with the capital city's mayor.
A diverse crowd of more than three hundred stands and applauds as U.S. Sen. and 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders joins Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba. The town hall in downtown Jackson recognized the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and examined economic justice fifty years later. Sanders says many of King's questions about economic disparity remain unanswered.
"How it could be that in this great country with so much wealth we have the highest rate of childhood poverty? Bad for whites, much worse for African Americans. How could it be that we are the only major country not to guarantee healthcare to all people as a right, not a privilege," said Sanders.
Sanders, an Independent from Vermont, says the voices of people living in poverty like other marginalized groups often go unheard by their local, state and federal governments. Mayor Lumumba says it's time for a new model for promoting economic equality in Mississippi that includes the voices of all people.
"No matter whether the country is experiencing great booms or bust in terms of its economy we are always at the bottom. We have to begin to rescue ourselves. We have to pursue collective genius and we have to pursue economic policies and economic strategies that work for all of us," said Lumumba.
Mississippi has the highest rate of poverty in the nation according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Ashley Norwood, MPB News.