Rep. Chestnut addresses Selma Rotarians

Published 3:17 pm Monday, September 9, 2019

Alabama Rep. Prince Chestnut, D-Selma, spoke to the Selma Rotary Club Monday afternoon where he delivered a speech calling for Selma’s leaders to create common goals and unify themselves in order to pursue them.

“I’m going to do something a little different,” said Chestnut after thanking the Rotarians for allowing him to serve as the meetings guest speaker. “I’m not going to necessarily talk about the legislature in general, I’ll reference it at times, but I want to talk about something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.”

Chestnut used a mnemonic in his speech to get his point across.

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The legislator stated he believes that Stakeholders Unmitigated Cultural Commitment to Excellence in Sustained Synergy (SUCCESS) is the key to creating a thriving community.

Chestnut spent time discussing each of the items he believes contributes to success, but he brought particular attention to the “cultural” component of SUCCESS.

“Winning communities all have something in common,” said Chestnut. “Winning culture.”

Chestnut defined winning culture as “intentional” and “purposeful”, citing the Huntsville – Madison County delegation and legislature as a “prime example” of a community with winning culture.

“These folks are purposeful. They seem to want to work together at every level. In Madison County, they don’t really see Republican or Democrat. They see Madison County, and that’s what they work in the interest of…We can do the same thing. But we have to buy in and be intentional about it.”

The legislator referred to the area’s educational institutions, businesses, government officials and business owners as “all on the same page” when it comes to the best interest of their community.

Chestnut tied this theme of intentionality and purposefulness found within a winning culture into his main point for the afternoon –  success.

“Success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose,” said Chestnut. “Successful communities achieve desired aims, goals and they prosper. Community success occurs when the community sets the goals and then sets out and undertakes the process to achieve those very goals they set out to achieve.”

Selma Rotary Club President James Steele expressed his surprise at Chestnut’s inspirational words, not knowing what the legislator was going to say before he addressed the Rotarians.

“He just came with what he was feeling,” said Steele. “And that was the whole point right there. Those words he used were very inspiring.”