While in office, Mayor DuPree has implemented several measures of accountability across four main sectors: education, infrastructure, jobs and public safety. For example, the Aging Infrastructure Project replaced 100-year old bridges across the city. Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) funded the Safe Routes to School Initiative, which increased safety for parents, guardians and children walking to and from school.
Collaboration is necessary for the growth of Hattiesburg’s social and economic capital. While in office, Mayor DuPree worked with various agencies and organizations to expand the Longleaf Trace into downtown Hattiesburg. Mayor DupPree’s goal is to extend the Trace, so that each Hattiesburg community has a safe and walkable, outdoor community to promote healthy living and community-building.
Mayor DuPree builds inclusivity and trust, both of which are necessary in community-building. While in office, Mayor DuPree created different opportunities to engage with various communities. For example, to help create transparency between the Hattiesburg Public School System and the community, the Mayor held “Chat and Chew” sessions with parents. To help build transparency between Hattiesburg police and community members, the Mayor instituted Public Safety and Policing Community Conversations where police officers and community members alike, could voice issues and concerned, and ultimately co-create solutions to more effective community policing practices.
Mayor DuPree prioritizes public safety and healthy living for all Hattiesburg residents. While in office, DuPree identified a need in the city and took action. Hattiesburg is the first city in Mississippi to have a homeless coordinator to organize resources for a community-in-need. The homeless coordinator partners with several agencies throughout the city to secure food and shelter. Mayor DuPree also took action in our disabled community. He developed a Disability Coordinator position that works to raise awareness of the needs of this community, and what the city can do to help meet those needs. (Insert specific example).
The Mayor’s commitment to jobs and infrastructure has created various opportunities across the city. In March 2017, the city will begin construction on the Midtown Development. This development’s construction has provided job opportunities, and it’s opening will afford additional job opportunities. Similarly, Midtown will transform the city’s infrastructure, increasing walkable community-living. In East Hattiesburg, Mayor DuPree spearheaded the renovation (or building) of a temporary Hattiesburg Public Safety Complex on Klondike Street. After the new police complex is finished, the east Hattiesburg community will have the opportunity to use the public safety complex building as a recreation center for community events (still trying to work out details on this).
Nutrition and Healthy Living
Through various state and federal partnerships, Mayor DuPree promotes the importance of nutrition and healthy living among youth, adults, and senior Hattiesburg communities. The Mayor’s E3 initiative helps enroll residents for health insurance and health programming. The initiative builds collaborations between University of Southern Mississippi to increase education on the importance of health education, and the initiative empowers residents to learn about and take advantage of healthy living programming in the city.