Economic forum a needed event

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 16, 2006

This past Saturday, the Republican Party of Dallas County held an economic development forum in Selma.

The forum was well attended – approximately 100 students, business leaders and politicians from across party lines attended the event, which focused on ways to improve the Black Belt.

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., was the featured speaker during a luncheon.

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Sessions said the area needed more discussions that shed light on how to improve the Black Belt financially.

“It’s good to see such a large audience, and so many intelligent, smart people have discussion on how to improve this area economically,” Sessions said. “We need to have more forums that can help to improve the Black Belt for everyone, and we can do that.”

Those on the panel encouraged local residents to look at their assets and focus on the talents and opportunities available.

Selma’s history is one benefit that the area should market, according to the panelists.

Those who organized the forum should be commended on bringing the event to the Black Belt.

The opportunity for key players, as well as students, to discuss their concerns opens the door for growth.

In fact, one student who attended encouraged organizers to hold the same type of forum at his school so that all of his classmates could benefit from the knowledge.

No one is going to come into this area and bring a solution.

It is up to those who have a vested interest – the local residents and businesses – to improve the economy and prompt growth.