STARKVILLE, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from Parker Wiseman, Starkville Mayor
Good evening. I am Parker Wiseman, the Mayor of the City of Starkville. It is an
honor to address you on behalf of the Mississippi Democratic Party, the Democratic
members of the Mississippi Legislature, and our Party's local and county officials.
Governor Phil Bryant just delivered the State of the State Address. And when he
explains that some of our citizens and businesses are doing well, he's right. But today,
more Mississippians are struggling than ever before. Unemployment is unacceptably
high in our state. Incomes are too low, and opportunities are too few and far between.
These problems are too big for any one party or any one idea to fix. But I know that if we
can put party labels aside and work together, we can create a better Mississippi.
As a mayor, every day I work with Republicans and Democrats alike to solve my
community's problems. And like many of my colleagues who serve Mississippi's
communities as council members, aldermen, and supervisors, we don't have the luxury
of ignoring problems. We can't afford to debate them and move on, hoping that they'll
solve themselves. We must face them head-on every day. The schoolchildren who are
without the resources they need to succeed are our children and our neighbors' children.
The working poor who are being priced out of healthcare are the folks we sit next to in
church pews and high school stadium bleachers. The hospitals struggling to survive are
our community hospitals. And the teachers and police officers worried about their
retirement are the men and women who taught us and keep our homes safe.
In Starkville, when the well-being of our community is at stake, there is no
problem too big, too small, or too divisive for us to take on.
We have prioritized economic development and improved quality of life. And
focusing on those priorities has paid off. Over the past five years, more than 100 new
businesses have opened their doors in Starkville.1 For the past four years, retail sales
and tourism spending in Starkville have gone up every single year.2 And later this year,
through a partnership with C Spire, we plan to become one of less than 1 percent of