Frustration in East Lubbock, Coffee with the Mayor Wednesday morning becomes heated at times

Local News

Image from Facebook video by Tracey Michelle Benefield

LUBBOCK, Texas — Coffee with the Mayor became heated at times Wednesday morning between citizens and city officials. 

The meeting was held at the United Supermarkets store at 2630 Parkway Drive.

Among the city officials on hand were Mayor Dan Pope, City Manager Jarrod Atkinson, Lubbock Police Chief Floyd Mitchell and several members of the Lubbock City Council.

A number of topics were discussed including the city’s response to COVID-19, community relations and actions following the death of George Floyd and the economic stability and outlook for the eastern side of the city.

At times, it appeared citizens were dissatisfied with the answers to their questions from the city’s officials.

One man told the mayor and city officials that East Lubbock has been neglected for 50 years.

“So you don’t like talking about the past, so lets talk about the present,” another man asked Mayor Pope. “When we say East Lubbock, we know we are talking about the Black community. When we say North Lubbock, we know we’re are talking about the Hispanic community. So you sir, in 2020, are the mayor of a segregated city. What are you going to do fix that problem right now?”

Pope responded by saying “I don’t think I’m the mayor of a segregated city. I think that’s a difference of opinion.”

His response drew criticism from the crowd. “You’re wrong, ” many said.

This drew response from another man who told the mayor “I don’t appreciate you all coming into this neighborhood and disrespecting people like this. You are insulting our intelligence and you are pretty much saying I can’t do nothing, won’t do nothing and don’t care about it.”

The man went on to say he would use his voice and his vote to get a new mayor. He also said it’s time to break up the “conglomerate” as he described it. He then left the meeting.

Councilmember Shelia Patterson-Harris passionately told those in attendance they should make their voices and actions heard by signing up to join the City’s boards and committees.

One lady asked her “What are the plans for East Lubbock? Do we actually have plans in the works or written down?”

She responded by saying that improving the older infrastructure on the east side is one of the main goals. The councilmember went on to say builders and developers have to come to East Lubbock.

Another individual voiced the need for more and better schools on the city’s east side.

You can see a video of Wednesday’s Coffee with the Mayor below, courtesy of Tracey Michelle Benefield.

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