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Davis holds staff retreat at St. James

Never mind that it’s 10 days until Christmas. Congressman-elect Artur Davis (D.-Ala) was in Selma Saturday setting up an office here.

Davis is spending this weekend preparing for his freshman term, which starts in January. The staffs of his office in Washington D.C. and the staffs of five offices he plans to open in the 7th Congressional District met to discuss plans and goals for the upcoming term.

His Alabama offices will be located in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Livingston and Selma. A part-time office will be located in Demopolis.

During a weekend retreat at the St. James Hotel, Davis discussed his goals for the offices, which include

breaking off into task forces to look at issues he wants to address.

As Davis sees it, key issues are: children and poverty, the uninsured, and equity and Medicaid reimbursement problems.

The local offices will help Davis’s office in Washington keep in touch with what is going on in Alabama, Davis said. The offices will also act as a liaison between Davis and his constituents.

In Selma’s case, the office will be located at the federal courthouse. Tammy Maul, who is currently Mayor James Perkins, Jr.’s administrative assistant, will resign her post in order to work Davis’s Selma office. Others staffing the Selma office include Carolyn Powell, who operates Leadership Selma, and Kobe Little, who will be there part-time and is also deputy chief for the area.

Maul said it took a time of thought and prayer to reach the decision to leave the Perkins administration.

Davis said that around 85 percent of his constituents will be within 45 miles of one of his offices. And that constant contact with the general public, he said, is what people crave. Davis said that he takes this region very seriously. He said he also enjoyed having the chance for the staff to meet in Selma, finding it an appropriate place to kick off the offices.

Davis’s local offices are slated to open in early January.