The good of Selma is already shining through

Published 5:11 pm Friday, January 2, 2015

By Blake Deshazo
The Selma Times-Journal

I have been in Selma for just over a month. When I got here, I didn’t know very much about Selma besides the role it played in the Civil Rights Movement.

Over the last few days I have spent several hours going through books filled with every newspaper that was printed by the Selma Times-Journal in 2014. I literally saw everything that happened in 2014 — the good, the bad and the ugly.

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It was my job to pick stories from each month that were memorable or had some kind of impact on the community. In doing so, I learned so much about Selma.

Sure, there are negative things that happen in Selma, but bad things happen everywhere. As I flipped through countless pages of newspapers, the good in Selma certainly outweighed the bad.

The pages were evidence that there are good people in Selma that are doing good things for the community. And in 2015, those good people will continue to do good things to help the community shine bright.

But I didn’t just see the good on the pages of the paper. I saw it in person as well. In the amount of time that I have been here, I have witnessed many great things going on in Selma with my own eyes.

I saw the signs around town that read “NO MORE.” And by looking at the number of murders, in 2014, they are working. The number shrunk by nearly 50 percent.

Selma education is on the upswing. Last year was rough for the school system, but with help from the state things are taking a turn for the better. A new superintendent will be named soon, and the Selma School System will be ready to rock and roll.

People want to make a difference in the community, and several stories I wrote showed me that. The Alpha Project is looking to make a difference in young men’s lives by teaching them how to be men. They want to teach young people how to take responsibility and to live a good life that is free of drugs and crime.

And then there is the Visually Impaired People Organization that is giving people with vision problems a place to go to for support. They are offering their support when there is nowhere else to go for those people to go.

Selma is cleaning up, and it all started with citizens voicing their opinion to city leaders about keeping the streets clean. The city is planning to take over the recycling program, hoping it will not only bring in money for the city but also keep trash off the streets. All in all, good things are happening, and I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for making Selma the place it was meant to be.