4th Ward residents must speak up


Editor, The Commercial:

This is a call for residents, especially those living in the Fourth Ward to attend the next council meeting on April 1 at 5:30 p.m.

What do the people want? City business is the people’s business; therefore what have the people said regarding residency requirements or basic services? Now is the time for the people to take action and speak up for basic services in the Fourth Ward and elsewhere. Basic services that have been neglected for years. Forth Ward Alderman Steve Mays Sr. has put forth ideas to help ward four only to have Alderman Stepps oppose them. African Americans make up 75 to 80 percent of Pine Bluff and there has not been a public outcry regarding residency requirements.

Fact: The previous mayor violated the same residency requirement rule for eight years without a challenge. African Americans voted overwhelmingly for Debe Hollingsworth and she received more votes than all the other candidates combined. The people gave her the mandate to move the city forward.

The city council works for the people, and the people must let the council know what their priorities are. Is it, “Residency Requirements” or “Basic Services”? The people in all wards, but specifically in ward four where Mr. George Stepps serves, have a choice between open ditches, no street lights, high poverty, dilapidated and abandoned housing, crime, open air drug selling, narrow streets, shots all times of the night, flooding streets, nagging mosquitoes, no sidewalks, vacant lots, trashed neighborhoods, illegal dumping, stray dogs and cats running loose. But he is dealing with “residency requirement.”

Alderman Stepps does not attend the town hall meetings; therefore, we should attend the council meeting and ask him to focus on things to improve the neighborhoods and create better living conditions and quality of life.

Rev. Jesse Turner

Pine Bluff