Greetings from Jackson, MS
We've had a busy few days in Jackson, Mississippi. Now that we have our travel routine down, we're finding it much easier to get used to new environments. We get lost on an almost daily basis, but that's part of the experience. Because our days are packed with interviews and transcribing lengthy interviews, I'll try and send out updates every few days.
The Mississippians we've met so far have been incredibly hospitable. We just returned from an afternoon interview and dinner with a lovely couple (she's a 63-year-old Democrat, he's a 62-year-old Republican) from Jackson. Interestingly, he is a Republican on fiscal issues, but is more liberal on social issues than many Democrats.
Over the past few days, I've also met with:
*Robert Langford, executive director of Operation Shoestring, an interfaith ministry that works to improve the lives of Jacksonians in low-income communities
*Donna Ladd, editor-in-chief of the Jackson Free Press
*Young Democrats and Republicans at the Jubilee Jam music festival
*Janet Clark, a Democrat whose father was one of the first doctors in Mississippi to desegregate his waiting room
After attending church last night at the First Presbyterian, one of Jackson's most conservative churches, I had a lengthy conversation with two southern preachers about politics and the meaning of truth. Today I met with the executive director of the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence. I also visited the Jackson Women's Health Organization, the only abortion provider in the entire state, and interviewed a former counselor, patients and a protester outside. I'm planning to meet with one of the clinic's doctors tomorrow and Right to Life of Jackson later this week.