Riley’s commission making a difference

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 9, 2007

Gov. Bob Riley’s office announced this past week that it has appointed Lauri Cothran of Selma to chair the Black Belt Action Commission’s marketing and tourism committee.

The Black Belt Action Commission was created by Riley in 2004 to address the needs of 12 south-central Alabama counties.

Cothran is president of the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism & Convention Bureau where she has served for 15 years.

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Cothran will no doubt be an asset to the organization that has provided free computers to Black Belt school systems; has created an estimated 1,300 jobs in the 12 Black Belt counties; has given free vision screenings to thousands of adults and children, following up with free eyeglasses and eye care; has established free health fairs in every Black Belt county and has secured more than $1.5 million in infrastructure projects for the Black Belt counties.

There are other cooperative programs such as Black Belt Treasures in Camden that highlight the works of artists from our region.

The Black Belt Action Commission shows that government can work to the benefit of its citizenry.

In just three years, Riley and those working with the commission have been able to see measurable achievement in this – one of the poorest – regions of the state.

We congratulate Selma’s own on this appointment and look forward with anticipation at what can be accomplished in the area of tourism and marketing of Alabama’s Black Belt region.