It’s up to us to make Selma a better place

Published 10:15 pm Friday, May 6, 2011

“I love Selma.”

I’m sure many of you have heard this phrase spoken aloud or have said it yourselves once or twice. Whether you grew up in the city — attending city or public schools or lived there in times past with family and close friends, for many of us, Selma is our home and will continue to be.

As many of you know, I attended Selma High School in 2003, but I never really felt connected to Selma back then, not enough to say I loved it. I went away to school at the University of Alabama, Paine College in Georgia and Auburn University-Montgomery, before returning to Selma late last year. Each time I returned, I was disappointed at what I saw: dilapidated and forsaken buildings downtown which once thrived, certain parts of town seemed unkempt and ignored and neighborhood churches and schools seemed segregated.

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Even though I didn’t grow up here, I promised myself I’d come back to Selma and help make it a better place everyone could enjoy coming back to. But of course, I could not tackle this effort by my own merit; I would need the help of Selma’s key leaders.

For those who are in positions of authority, have you sincerely asked yourselves if you’re doing all you possibly can to benefit Selma and help it to grow? Is it possible to erase the politics, status quo and personal agendas in order to push Selma forward— making it one of the top places to live in the country, with great education, tourism and a growing economy?

When we attend city hall or school board meetings or even prepare for the upcoming city hall elections, what are our motives for voting? What are leaders’ motives? And leaders, what will you do to improve Selma for years to come — even when your own children are no longer affected by the issues?

As I’ve heard time and time again this week from persons affected by recent tornadoes, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.

It shouldn’t matter about our religious beliefs, our political views or even our ethnicities. We all need to help one another, and the leaders we appoint must have our best interests at heart — no matter the circumstance.

Yes there are hard decisions to make. And yes, we all may not agree on every policy and agenda, but one thing we can agree on is this: we all want Selma to be a better place.

So let’s make it happen.