Evans appears on CNN

Published 10:40 pm Monday, December 28, 2009

SELMA — Mayor George Evans took his plea for assistance on the national stage again Sunday, but not everyone could hear it.

Evans was a guest for the last work on John King’s State of the Union program on CNN, but breaking news about a terrorist threat aboard a Northwest airliner flying from Canada to Detroit prevented the nation from hearing Evans’ assessment of Selma.

This is the second time since May the mayor has spoken about the city’s high unemployment and need for quicker response from government stimulus dollars.

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Dallas County’s unemployment for last month was 20.3 percent, a little more than double the 10 percent posted in Alabama.

However, Evans sounded optimistic, saying about six prospects are looking at locating in the city. The mayor is part of Team Selma, which works with the Economic Development Authority to seek out industries and retail establishments to settle in the city and county.

Evans could not divulge what businesses are looking at the area. The identities of those are kept secret until a decision is made.

The mayor also talked about contacting the White House and asking for assistance through the recession. The state has awarded some stimulus money to Selma and Dallas County.

Some of that money is designated to help begin construction of Riverfront Park.

The park, which should extend parallel to Water Avenue, is expected to have a walking trail along the river, an amphitheater, carousel and other features.

The park’s first phase is the walking trail.

Evans pointed out during his interview with King that Selma needed stimulus money early in the recession, but it did not come.

The mayor talked about the historic significance of the city. The march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965 was key to passage of the Voting Rights Act, which gave African-Americans the right to vote and struck down Jim Crow laws that forced those African-Americans who wanted to register to vote to pass “tests”, such as telling the registrar the number of bubbles in a bar of soap.

“I stand on the shoulders of those people,” said Evans, Selma’s second African-American mayor.

Although the interview did not broadcast nationwide, it is on the CNN Web site at http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2009/12/27/still.asking.for.support.cnn?iref=allsearch or go to selmatimesjournal.com and click on the link in this story.