Melton touts plan to end blight

Melton, former director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, said through his deal with the union, he’ll revitalize neighborhoods one at a time, starting with Washington Addition and moving to Subdivision No. 2 and the Jackson Apartments on Maple Street. AFL-CIO-trained workers, he said, would not allow their neighborhoods to decay again.

“I’m going to be able to get hundreds of kids off the street and give them a job to make up to $25 or $30 an hour,” he said. “It will give them a skill to employ and give them ownership and pride in the neighborhood.”

Financing would come from the union’s $17 billion pension fund, he said.

Mississippi AFL-CIO President Robert Schaffer, a Melton campaign backer, said they’ve been working for months on the training deal.

Schaffer said as the pension fund must be invested, part of it can be used for membership-boosting programs such as the one Melton is proposing. Both met Monday with AFL-CIO financial officials from the union’s Washington headquarters to work on the plan.

Clarion Ledger