My Hope For The Future Of Alabama And The Democratic Party

By Minority Leader Rep.Craig Ford

For the last six years, it has been my privilege to serve as Minority Leader in the Alabama House of Representatives. On Wednesday, I will step down and a new leader will be elected.

While I will continue to serve in the Legislature and represent the great people of Etowah County, I would like to share my outgoing thoughts on our state and the Democratic Party.
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Are Our Schools Really Failing?

House Minority Leader Rep. Craig Ford

A lot has been said about the state of Alabama’s public school system. And for the last six years, State leaders have been obsessed with defining public schools as failing, even going so far as to require by law that at least 6 percent of all schools must be labeled as failing.

Making the situation worse is that students and schools have seemingly been set up to fail. Read More

The Goal of Education

House Minority Leader Rep. Craig Ford

When it comes to education policy, I don’t often agree with my colleague, Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur). But this year she plans to bring legislation that would set education goals for our state, and I like this idea.

I like this idea because it finally forces us to address the most important and fundamental question concerning education: What is the goal?

It’s a question that I’m afraid too often gets lost in the debate over education policy and reform. It certainly gets lost in our obsession with standardized test scores. Read More

A sports complex would be big for our local economy

By House Minority Leader Rep. Craig Ford

Etowah County has produced a lot of great athletes over the years, including several NFL players like Dre Kirkpatrick and Carnell “Cadillac” Williams. In November, the “Lady Fusion 03” soccer team won the state championship in the U13 division.

We have a proud sports tradition here, and now more than ever we need a sports complex to accommodate these teams. Whether its you soccer like our state champion Lady Fusion team (soccer is the fastest growing sport in the country) or travel ball and little league baseball and softball teams, there is a significant need for a sports complex. Read More

Remembering Christmas

By Minority Leader Rep. Craig Ford 

What does Christmas mean to you? It’s a question that will probably get a different answer from every person you ask. Every family has their own traditions and customs that make Christmas unique to them.

Of course, certain things about Christmas are universal. For every Christian, Christmas is a time when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. He is literally the reason for the season; the “Christ” in “Christmas.”
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Prison bill could be defining moment

By House Minority Leader Craig Ford

Prisons could be the issue that defines the Alabama Legislature in 2017. Gov. Bentley has said he may call a special session to address the issue, and has indicated that he will revive the prison construction bill he first proposed in his 2016 State of the State address.

In recent years, numerous lawsuits have been filed relating to the conditions in our prisons. Violence and riots have increased as the number of corrections officers has decreased, and even the federal government has begun an investigation of violence, rape and overcrowding in our prisons.
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Alabama’s public schools do not “suck”

By Minority Leader Rep. Craig Ford

Gov. Bentley made headlines a few weeks ago when he told an audience at a public forum that our public school system “sucks.”

But Gov. Bentley is wrong about our public school system.

Alabama’s high school graduation rate rose 18 percent between 2011 and 2015. Today, 89.3 percent of students graduate high school in Alabama: the third highest graduation rate in the country!

Our increase in the number of graduating students who take an AP exam in high school also outpaces the national rate, and our statewide math proficiency on the ACT Aspire test is up across all grades.
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Alabama needs early voting

By House Minority Leader Rep. Craig Ford

There’s nothing more American than going to the polls on Election Day and casting your vote. I love Election Day! But I don’t love waiting in line for hours before I get to cast my ballot.

On November 8th, more than two million Alabamians went to the polls. And far too many of us ended up having to wait in line for two or more hours just to cast our ballots. There’s something fundamentally wrong about that!
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Time for accountability

By Minority Leader Rep. Craig Ford

The election is over and now the real work begins. Part of that work means holding our leaders accountable for their promises and commitments, and both sides of the aisle have plenty to be held accountable for.

Republicans now have absolute power across all branches of our federal and state government. Republicans have not had this much power since Reconstruction after the Civil War. We have a new president who has promised sweeping changes—and there is no one to stand in his way.
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Reviewing The Amendments On The Nov. 8th Ballot

By Minority Leader Rep. Craig Ford

When voters cast their ballots next month, they will be voting on more than just the presidential race and other important offices; they will also be deciding the fate of fourteen amendments to our state constitution.

The first amendment is related to the Auburn University Board of Trustees. It changes when some of the board members’ terms expire, and adds two additional members to the board. On this amendment, I recommend either voting “yes” or not voting at all.
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