Feb 27, 2014
Chokwe Lumumba, a longtime civil rights activist and mayor of Jackson, Miss., died Tuesday afternoon. He was 66.
"Mayor Lumumba, for those of us in CWA, was a beacon of hope in dark times, not only in the South but across our nation," said CWA President Larry Cohen. "The city workers are CWA members, who have struggled for years, only now hoping they had a real voice through their union and a friend in the mayor. We will carry on Mayor Lumumba's vision of Jackson and of hope for our nation, and our own commitment to our members in Jackson and beyond. We will mourn the mayor, but recommit in his name."
Last year, after Lumumba won his Democratic primary, CWA activists became permanent fixtures in the Lumumba campaign, helping with phone banking, canvassing neighborhoods, rolling thousands of newspapers with sample ballots and poll watching. All the way up until Election Day, at least 10 CWAers could be found on each shift at Lumumba's campaign office. Lumumba, a pro-worker candidate who campaigned on a living wage and improving community jobs, easily defeated his opponents, winning in a landslide with 87 percent of the vote.