UPDATE: Minorities demand more city representation in Tupelo

TUPELO – City leaders today will hear from African-Americans concerned about what they say is a lack of minorities in top-level municipal positions.
A group of five men and one woman is scheduled to address the mayor and City Council at 6 p.m. at City Hall.
Its purpose, said Tupelo attorney Kenneth Mayfield, who is among the residents, is to encourage Tupelo to hire and appoint more minorities.
“I feel like they’re at the crossroads right now,” Mayfield said of city leaders. “There have been some missed opportunities. … We’re not crying over spilled milk, but from this day forward let’s look at where we are.”
The city employs 482 full-time workers, of which 90 are minorities – or 18.6 percent, according to the Human Resources Department.
That’s compared to 30.6 percent of minorities living in Tupelo as of the 2000 Census.
All but one of the city’s 10 department heads are Caucasian: Cassandra Moore, who heads the Human Resources Department, is the sole minority among this group.
Minorities also comprise a smaller percentage of municipal boards and commissions compared to their citywide population.

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Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal