Jesse Jackson to hold voter rally in city

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 28, 1999

Blacks and whites in &uot;the new Mississippi&uot; share common ground – the need for livable wages, quality education and health care, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said in a conference call Thursday.

&uot;People must be taught the correlation between voting and these issues,&uot;&160;he said. &uot;I’ve seen people drop a voter card, but I’ve never seen them drop a food stamp, because they make a correlation between that stamp and what they eat.&uot;

And to help them make the connection between voting and getting those things, Jackson will tour Mississippi this weekend, encouraging residents to exercise their right to vote.

Email newsletter signup

The 13-stop tour will include a rallies at 6 p.m. Sunday at Christian Hope Baptist Church at 301 LaSalle St. in Natchez and at noon Monday at Alcorn State University in Lorman.

Black and white people need to come together to elect people they believe will work to bring private investment into Mississippi, steer more funding to education and improve health care for all residents, Jackson said.

&uot;Once people come alive on the issues that matter, they will shape the candidates instead of the candidates shaping them,&uot;&160;he said.

But many Americans do not see the connection between informed voting and improving their standard of living, Jackson added.

&uot;America is so blessed that there’s a sense that we are going to benefit whether we work for democracy or not,&uot; he said. &uot;(We should be) taught in our formative years to look forward to getting to vote.&uot;

Every high school senior should walk across the stage with a diploma in their hand – and a voter card.&uot;

In addition, Jackson believes the United States plays down the importance of voting.

Candidates’ positions on the issues and the importance of voting in general should be widely publicized and elections should be held on weekends so more working people can vote, he said.

&uot;We must make (voting) a mass virtue,&uot;&160;Jackson said.

Jackson’s Get Out the Vote Tour is being hosted by U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson and members of the Mississippi Legislature.