Hilliard stops in Selma

Published 4:39 pm Wednesday, April 8, 2009

State Rep. Earl Hilliard Jr. stopped in Selma Tuesday to assure voters, if elected, he would not forget about the problems plaguing the Black Belt. Hilliard, D-Birmingham, said his top priorities are improving infrastructure and bringing skilled jobs to the region. It starts with providing access to quality education and healthcare, he said.

“It means bringing resources to the Black Belt to help on a lot of different levels,” Hilliard said. “What we have to do is have a coordinated group effort in solving these problems.”

Hilliard announced his campaign Monday in Birmingham for the seat being vacated by Congressman Artur Davis. Although he is not a Selma native, Hilliard said he wanted people to know he is dedicated to learning more about the area and working to improve it.

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“I’m here to find out,” he said. “I’m here to learn more, and I’ll be here.”

One way Hilliard hopes to improve the region is through legislation that would make Selma, and the rest of the state, more attractive to filmmakers through incentives. Hilliard said there is no reason for the revenue associated with filmmaking to go to states like Georgia and Louisiana instead of Alabama.

“A place like Selma truly benefits from film incentives,” Hilliard said. “People want to make movies here.”