By Rep. Darrio Melton
This Saturday will mark one month until the November midterm election. There is a lot at stake for the state of Alabama, and your vote will be important. Even though the president is not on the ballot, it is critical that we still stand up for the issues that matter most to our families.
Over the next several weeks, I want to write about all the reasons why I’m voting for Democrats this November, and all of the things that are on the line for our communities and our state.
Alabama is the only state to not return to pre-recession jobs numbers. We are one of only five states with increasing unemployment. The Republican supermajority’s plan to “right-size” Alabama is not helping families.
In the past four years, the Republican leadership has offered millions of your tax dollars in handouts to big businesses to come to Alabama. Some of those companies have stayed and created a few hundred jobs here, but other companies have taken the money and failed to deliver.
Instead of giving our tax dollars to big businesses, I think that Alabama could use the bail out.
We need to vote for leadership that will create a plan that works for small businesses and creates a healthy competition, not an unfair advantage. Let’s use those millions in tax dollars to repair and rebuild our infrastructure–this would makeAlabama more appealing to businesses who might want to move in our state, put people back to work, and use tax dollars for things that we all use.
We also need leadership who understands that we can’t balance our company’s budget or our state’s budget on the backs of the working people. Just like how the state government doesn’t work without people to carry out the tasks of government, our companies don’t work without people behind the counters and on the floor doing the work to make the company great. We need leadership to understand thatAlabama needs to revisit the minimum wage. I sponsored the bill last session and I will work to see that it comes to a vote this session.
We must elect leaders who understand that a healthy jobs plan does not just start with today– it starts with looking at tomorrow, too.
If we want businesses in Alabama, we must make sure that our workforce is trained and ready to do the jobs they bring to the state. We have to make sure that every child is educated from pre-K to graduating college or career ready.
There are people running for office in Alabama who understand these things, and they need your vote.
It’s not about running for office to pad your pockets and guarantee contracts to your friends. It’s about helping the people in the state who count on us to represent them in Montgomery.
If we standby on election day and let the special interests, PACs and corporations call the shots, we will only have four more years of the same. Are you better off than you were four years ago? I think we can do better.
Representative Darrio Melton is a Democrat from Selma. He was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2010.