OUR VIEW: What now, Mississippi?
Change will not happen overnight for Mississippi, as much as we might wish differently.
By the time our readers see this, the Magnolia State will have elected its new leadership, as will the residents of Lafayette County. National media identified the gubernatorial race as one of the most “hotly contested” in the state’s history; in the nation, even.
Some Mississippians have acted like the world will end if their party’s candidate wasn’t elected. Others strutted around with a sense of cautious arrogance. Now, waking up on a Wednesday morning with election results everywhere you see, take a look around.
The sky isn’t falling. The state’s problems aren’t solved. And there’s still heaps of work to be done.
At the end of the day, it’s up to the constituents to hold the men and women elected to represent them accountable for the promises they made.
Our education system is still years behind other states. Our teachers are flat broke come payday. Our state’s roads and bridges are held together with industrial-strength bubblegum and toothpicks. The autonomous power of the IHL is still highly questionable. Highway 7 still hasn’t been widened. Crime is increasing rapidly. Children are still going to bed hungry, inadequately clothed as winter approaches. The much-hated millennials, the future of the nation whether we like it or not, are fleeing the state to earn a livable wage.
Every single candidate for every single office made a promise to address at least one of those issues. Hold them to it. Write letters, attend town halls, call their offices, send emails.
Mississippi has been stagnant for far too long in so many ways. End that cycle by staying informed, remaining just as active as you were before the election and remembering that, regardless of party affiliation, we’re all part of Mississippi and its future is in our hands.