Water Access Has Returned to Jackson, But a Long-Term Health Crisis Remains

Jackson, Mississippi — In mid-September, Howard Sanders bumped down pothole-ridden streets in a white Cadillac weighed down with water bottles on his way to a home in Ward 3, a neglected neighborhood that he called “a war zone.” Sanders, director of marketing and outreach for Central Mississippi Health Services, was then greeted at the door by Johnnie Jones. Since Jones’ hip surgery about a month ago, the 74-year-old had used a walker to get around and hadn’t been able to get to any of the city’s water distribution sites. Jackson’s routine water woes became so dire in late August that…

Organizers and Community Groups in Jackson Turn to Mutual Aid Amid Water Crisis

After major flooding last week and years of infrastructural neglect, 150,000 residents of Jackson, Mississippi have been left without safe drinking water, leaving community groups scrambling to address the crisis. “We’re always on alert, and we’re always in the community,” said Efren Nuñez, an organizer with the Jackson-based Immigrant Alliance for Justice & Equality, while distributing donations of drinking water in the city. “They call us right away when there’s an emergency.” The Immigrant Alliance for Justice & Equality was founded after the largest single-state immigration enforcement action in U.S. history led to the detainment of nearly 700 undocumented Mississippi…

2 Red States Are Taxing Student Debt Relief — But Didn’t Tax PPP Forgiveness

Officials in two states with Republican-dominated legislatures announced this week that they’re planning to tax relief that borrowers get from President Joe Biden’s student debt cancellation plan — even though the same states didn’t tax the billions of dollars of loan forgiveness given to corporations and business owners under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). North Carolina and Missisippi’s Departments of Revenue say they’ll consider debt forgiveness taxable income, potentially saddling borrowers with hundreds of dollars of more tax liability, cutting into the sharp relief that the program is set to provide. North Carolina officials say that the taxes will come…

Mississippi Town Hired Racist Cop to Terrorize Black Residents, Advocates Say

A flagrantly racist and violent ex-cop is bringing national attention to a small town in Mississippi where Black residents say they were systematically “terrorized” by police and the court system. Civil rights advocates condemn the officer’s actions and say they are a symptom of a larger problem that extends far beyond one rural community and a “bad apple” among the local police. A lawsuit filed in federal court this week claims white police in the rural, majority-Black town of Lexington, Mississippi, targeted Black residents and subjected them to false arrests, brutality, excessive fines and unreasonable searches. The department’s discriminatory intent…

Supreme Court’s Conservative Justices Indicate They’ll Upend Roe v. Wade

The United States Supreme Court appears ready to completely undo or drastically weaken decades of established precedent protecting abortion rights. On Wednesday, the High Court heard arguments regarding a restrictive Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. In filing its initial briefs earlier this year, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch laid out a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, a Supreme Court ruling from nearly 50 years ago that recognized the right to abortion access in every U.S. state. The Court’s conservative majority spent much of their time on Wednesday discussing whether to take a narrow view…

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