Rev. Jesse Jackson to speak about contracts before City Council

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- "We've done a study on the amount of contracts available, amount being given to people who live in this area who have an obligation to get those contracts. our share of jobs, contracts and job training."

The Reverend Jesse Jackson is talking about a study that shows minorities get less than one percent of contracts coming out of City Hall.

"There are some huge contracts. Construction projects for example and people who live here don't have a chance, and we'll address that before the City Council."

Jackson said he also plans to speak during Tuesday's City Council meeting and meet separately with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Congressman Steve Cohen to address the contract issue.

"If you live in Memphis and pay taxes you should expect in Memphis to have your share of Memphis jobs and contracts and opportunities, and that's not happening now."

He said he sees this as the unfinished business of helping poor people in Memphis. Poor people were the reason he and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. came to the city back in 1968.

Now, almost 50 years later, he's still fighting for equity at City Hall.

"Why do we so well on the basketball court? Black and white together. Because the playing field is even and the rules are public and the goals are clear. Getting access to contracts -- the playing field is not even and the rules are not public and the goals are not. We're going to fight for our share of contracts. We want to work."

Reverend Jackson will be able to speak before the City Council Tuesday but Chairman Berlin Boyd said the rules only allow him to talk for two minutes unless a council member suspends the rules to give him more time.

Jackson also told WREG he will be traveling the country encouraging people to contact their senators to vote against changes to the Affordable Health Care Act. He said it's yet another blow to poor people.