Mayor says it is the right thing to do

Jason Shelton

Mississippi has a rich cultural history. We are the birthplace of some of the best writers, artists, and musicians in the world. Most of American popular music can trace its roots to right here in the Magnolia State. Many world renowned athletes, scholars, and entrepreneurs are from right here. We are the most church going and charitable state in the nation. We lead the way in shipbuilding, space technology, furniture manufacturing, and the production of automobiles. We have much to celebrate and much to be proud of as Mississippians. Additionally, we have in many areas made great progress from our turbulent past. The shortcomings in our state’s past are undeniable and we can only strive to work together to make sure that the present and the future are better than the past. It is long past time for us to work together as Mississippians to make our great state a wonderful place for every Mississippian where we all have the same opportunities to create better lives for ourselves and our families. One thing that can be done sooner rather than later to help move us forward is for the State of Mississippi to finally pass equal pay for women legislation. Currently, we are the only state in the entire United States of America that has failed to pass an equal pay law. This is a failure of leadership. This failure to act by our current leaders makes it more difficult to recruit business and industry to Mississippi. The failure to act by our current leaders decreases the likelihood that major national and international employers will want to call Mississippi home. As reported in a January 2018 Clarion Ledger article: “[a]ccording to The Gender Wage Gap in Mississippi, a paper published in December 2016 by the University Research Center in Jackson, women in Mississippi earn 27 percent less than men in the state. Annually, women in Mississippi earn $9,600 a year less than men in the state.” There has been a lot of bi-partisan support for the passage of such an act. State Representative Tracy Arnold, who is a Republican and a pastor from Booneville, has fought for this legislation to be passed in the Mississippi House of Representatives. Republican Attorney General Candidate Lynn Fitch has been a vocal advocate of the passage of such legislation, which is also supported by her opponent, Ms. Jennifer Riley-Collins, a Democrat. Both of the candidates for Lt. Governor, Rep. Jay Hughes and Sec. Delbert Hosemann, support equal pay for women legislation. In the race for governor, Attorney General Jim Hood unequivocally supports equal pay for women legislation. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves is the only candidate among the candidates for Attorney General, Lt. Governor, or Governor who opposes equal pay for women. During his eight years as Lt. Governor Tate Reeves has killed nine equal pay bills and four bills that would have established an Equal Pay Day. Equal pay for equal work is legally and morally the right thing. It is difficult to imagine a scenario where one could justify opposing legislation that would make it illegal under state law to pay a woman less than a man for the same work. Sometimes doing the right thing is easy and supporting legislation to guarantee equal pay for women is one of those things. It is the right thing morally, legally, and economically. About Jason — Mayor Jason Shelton is a lifelong resident of the City of Tupelo and a product of the Mississippi public education system, having attended Tupelo High School, Itawamba Community College, Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi School of Law. After practicing law in Tupelo for more than a decade, Jason was elected as the first mayor in the history of Tupelo from “East Tupelo.” During his time as mayor, the City of Tupelo has overcome many hardships, and also has been highly acclaimed as a 2015 All-America City and as the Mississippi Municipal League 2015 Overall Excellence Award winner.

You can reach Jason: Email: mayor@ci.tupelo.ms.us Phone: (662) 841-6513

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