Shelby needs to talk solutions in Selma

Published 4:40pm Saturday, February 9, 2013

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby — a man who has served in politics long enough to see himself go from a Democrat to a Republican, and gain tremendous influence in Washington — will host a public forum Monday, Feb. 18 at the St. James.

This stop is part of Shelby’s annual tour throughout the state, where he holds public events in each of Alabama’s 67 counties each year. To that, I applaud the senior senator from Alabama and challenge his junior counterpart — U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions — to follow suit.

And although I unfortunately will not be able to attend this public event — as I have plans to visit the Happiest Place on Earth with my family in a few weeks — I hope Shelby will focus on a few items of local importance, rather than bringing home a souvenir of D.C. politics back home with him.

It is my hope Shelby discusses what is being done to hopefully reinstate monies in the federal budget to pay for dredging of the Alabama River — a job that is a must for those local industries, both current and future — to better maximize the their operations and better transport some of their products.

It would be nice to hear from the senator about any programs in place for low-income areas to better compete in the economic development and economic recruitment areas, giving Alabama’s Black Belt a fighting chance against those areas in Auburn, Mobile and Huntsville.

And although I will not be in attendance, it would be nice to log on to the following day and not hear the expected rhetoric on the federal deficit, spending cuts, the strength of our military or his opposition to Obamacare. Those positions are very well known and there isn’t really much that can be cleared up at our public forum.

The positive impact Shelby has had on Alabama is tremendous. There is a reason he has served the state for so many years.

But this public forum is in Selma. It is for Selma and should be about Selma.

I hope the presentation is anything but canned and the questions from guests help drive Shelby to focus on those topics that are crucial to the Selma and the Black Belt.

  • popdukes12

    Tim, each of the three cities you mentioned are on a major interstate highway, and over 50% of the states population live along these interstates. That is a major factor in economic development. Dallas county is ground zero for the Democratic vote in the state. Shelby (Republican) is in the minority in the senate, in much the same manner as Ms. Sewell (Democrat) is in the Legislature. Senators represent the entire state at the federal level, and I really don’t see him expending his political capital on a Democratic stronghold. He is a good politician and I doubt anyone will be able to “nail him down” on specifics.

  • MO-OF-IT

    Have to agree. Lots can be done. For example bring back the Renewal Community Grant that attracted so many employers to the Blackbelt.

    What I am sure of is that we will not get the rhetoric that we read form our state level representatives blaming the majority party for all
    the woes of the land…… even though there is much truth in that on a national level.

    Keep Hope Alive

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