Chokwe Antar Lumumba, the 36-year-old mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders for president on Friday following a "people's caucus" in which Jackson residents overwhelmingly voted in favor of the Vermont senator over his 2020 Democratic rivals.
"Sen. Sanders has demonstrated consistency in his support of policies that align with the goals, concerns, and principles of our communities," said Lumumba, a progressive who was elected mayor in 2017 on a promise to make Jackson "the most radical city on the planet."
"I believe that an endorsement from myself should represent more than just my own personal thoughts, views, and opinions."
—Chokwe Antar Lumumba, mayor of Jackson, Mississippi"While we believe the defeat of Donald Trump is important to the progress of the nation, it is simply not enough in Jackson," Lumumba said in a statement. "We have to do more than just dismantle the world we don't want to live in. We have to create the world that we do want to live in."
Lumumba told Buzzfeed that the purpose of the people's caucus was to give his Jackson constituents a voice in the presidential endorsement. The Mississippi Democratic primary contest is on March 10.
"I believe that an endorsement from myself should represent more than just my own personal thoughts, views, and opinions," said Lumumba. "It should be considerate of the people who are impacted by the policy, impacted by whatever relationship ensues from that individual if that relationship were to prevail."
"We decided that we'd have a people's caucus, which is consistent with our normal assemblies to discuss major issues in our city," Lumumba added. "Sanders rose to the top."
Sanders celebrated the endorsement in a statement, calling Lumumba a "strong advocate for progressive change."
"As someone who has spent his entire career fighting to restore power to the people, there is no one better to ensure the voices of all Jacksonians are included in our political process," said Sanders. "I am honored to receive this endorsement and look forward to working together as we build a movement all across this country for economic, racial, social, and environmental justice for all."