Community rallies behind Greene County
ambulance services (EMS)

In the past four months, since mid-May, the Greene County Emergency Medical Services (GEMS) has made major progress with solid support from the Greene County community.
GEMS has secured funding for two new ambulances; moved to a new office, across from the Greene County Hospital; hired a new director and staff; secured a new billing agency and higher reimbursement rates from Medicare and insurance providers; and with the help of supporters was able to raise its basic operating budget.
At its May 23, 2022, meeting the board selected Chris Jones as its new director and asked the Greene County Commission, City of Eutaw, Towns of Boligee, Union and Forkland, the Sheriff, as well as other agencies and businesses to help save and support the county’s ambulance service.
This meeting was held after the prior director informed the state that the GEMS service was closing, and he resigned. The board wrote the state to rescind his letter and started to rebuild.
Prior to the May board meeting, the Greene County Commission pledged $125,000 in American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funds toward acquisition of a new truck engine and chassis to mount and renovate the service’s existing ambulance box. The service secured a loaner ambulance until the newly refurbished ambulance is delivered later this year.
At its September 13, 2022, meeting, the Eutaw City Council approved a contribution of $26,000, of its ARPA funding as matching funds to acquire a second ambulance and stretcher from the Alabama Council on Emergency Medical Services. Joe Lee Powell, Chair of the GEMS Board says, “We will soon have two working ambulances that we need to provide services to the residents and visitors of Greene County.” The Eutaw City Council previously used $62,000 of CARES funds to provide lifesaving equipment to the service.
Chris Jones, GEMS Director, put together a plan asking the Commission and municipalities to help cover the $40,000 monthly payroll of the ambulance service for three months while a new billing agency was brought onboard and up to speed to provide the operating revenues for the system.
The Greene County Commission approved three months of operating support at $18,356 a month – a total of $55,068. The City of Eutaw has provided $36,000 in operating support since the beginning of 2022. The Town of Boligee has contributed $10,000 in support this year, including $1,500 a month, pledged for the three-month period. The Town of Union has also pledged support. Sheriff Benison from bingo funds has contributed $65,000 and pledged $8,500 a month for the three-month special operating fund campaign.
The Greene County Health System has provided a house across the street from the hospital as an office and staging area for the ambulance staff including showers, kitchen and sleeping facilities. The GCHS Board agreed to provide seven months rent at $550 a month, from June through December 2022 as a $3,850 contribution to the ambulance service operating budget.
The Greene County Industrial Development Authority contributed $5,000 towards the ambulance service. Danny Cooper, GCIDA Chair said, “You never know when you will need an ambulance – so we must support our emergency service. We must have a functional ambulance service to assist businesses and industries that may have on-the-job accidents and injuries, needing ambulance services.”
The RockTenn Corporation, owners of the Eutaw box plant have given $5,000 toward the GEMS operating budget and other businesses in the county are expected to follow this example. The services has received other small contributions from individuals.
Dr. Marcia Pugh, vice chairperson of the GEMS board and Hospital CEO, said “We are grateful to the agencies, businesses, and people of the community for coming forward to help us stabilize and support our ambulance service. We are determined to have an emergency service that can serve the people spread around our rural county. We may need continued assistance to provide timely and quality ambulance services.”

School board learns benefits of National Math and Science Initiative

The Greene County Board of Education held its monthly meeting, Thursday, September 22, 2022. The schedule for September was changed from the third Monday due to an annual School Board District Workshop sponsored by the Alabama Association of School Boards.
As part of his report Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones invited representatives from the Alabama Rural Learning Accelerator (ARLA), a National Math-Science Initiative, Dr. Florence Williams and Ms. Mirial Alim to give an overview of the project, which is associated with UAB Teach.
Dr. Williams stated that the overall goal of ARLA is to support hiring and retaining fully certified math and science teachers and provide long term solutions to fill those gaps and connect more students to potential careers based in science, technology, engineering and math.
The presenters explained that the six components of ARLA focuses on the following: Power Hours in Action – UAB Teach interns will meet with student small groups daily; utilize New Classroom’s Teach to One, creating individualized math acceleration for each student. Hybrid Teaching involves innovative curriculum that highlights conceptual math understanding and student investigation. Integrating Innovative Technology to Support Instruction will equip teachers with digital tools needed to effectively teach in a synchronous, yet virtual classroom. The other components of ARLA include Family and Community Engagement, Partner School Expectations, and Teacher and Student and System Benefits. ARLA will focus of grades 6 – 9 and is no additional costs to the school system.
Mr. Garry Rice, Greene County Schools Math Specialists, also gave a presentation on the various student scoring levels, proficiency and performance, as of the State Testing, Spring 2022.
Dr. Jones announced that Eutaw Primary School received a $10,000 grant from BlueCross BlueShield for preventative health related education workshops. Principal Brittany Harris was also awarded an additional $500 for continued professional development.
The board approved the following personnel items recommended by Superintendent Jones.
Employment – 2022-2023 School Term – Ms. Glenda Hodges, Long-term Substitute Teacher for the Department of Special Services; Ms. Vivian Carpenter, Substitute Cook, for 2022-2023 School Year; Mr. Stanley Lucious, Bus Driver, for Department of Transportation; Ms. Jamirea Gaitor, 6th grade Teacher, Robert Brown Middle School.
The board approved one time stipends, Professional Development Sessions for ELA and Math Pacing Guides for the following. Eutaw Primary School: Genetta Bishop, Carolyn Beck, Danielle Sanders-Williams, Cheryl Morrow, Walter Taylor, LaShaun Henley, Charlease Smith, Carla Durrett, Pamela Pasteur, Sherita Pickens. Robert Brown Middle School: Katoya Quarles, Ashley Moody, Felecia Smith, Dr. Sharron Martin, Quentin Walton, Leanita Hunt. Greene County High School: KaNeeda Coleman, Dr. Aslean Jones, Sylvia Williams, Tura Edwards, Dr. Dutchess Jones, Brittan Jenkins.
The board approved additional Pay for After School Tutorial Program, 2022-2023 School Term. Eutaw Primary School: Carla Durrett, Pamela Pasteur, Sherit Pickens, Gwendolyn Webb, Keisha Williams. Greene County High School: Brittany Jenkins, Angela Harkness, Tameshia Porter, Dutchess Jones, Kaneeda Coleman, Drenda Morton, Janice Jeames-Askew, Assistant Principal; Ms. Tyesha Weeks, Parent Involvement Coordinator, compensated an additional $2,000 plus benefits on her existing salary to assist with the homeless program and perform additional duties as the Homeless Liaison for one year, beginning October 1, 2022, and ending September 30, 2023; Retention Bonus for school bus drivers, substitute bus drivers, and bus aides; Approval of one-time Supplemental Stipend for CNP Workers (No Kid Hungry Grant); Additional Pay for After School Tutorial Program, 2022-2023 School Term. Robert Brown Middle School: Felecia Smith–Lead Teacher; Quentin Walton–5th Grade; Raven Bryant–ELA 6th -8th Grade or Special Services; Elroy Skinner–Math 6th-8th Grade; Vanessa Bryant–4th Grade; Pinkie Travis Classroom Aide; Mary Hopson Special Services Aide ( Need Based).
The board approved the following administrative services recommended by Superintendent Jones.
* Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll.
* Bank reconciliations as submitted by Ms. Marquita Lennon, CSFO.
* Agreement between Greene County Board of Education and National Math and Science Rural * Learning Accelerator Program.
* Agreement between Greene County Board of Education and Formative Partner License, for Greene County High School Students, Teachers and Administrators.
* Contract between Greene County Board and Alabama High School Athletic Association Official, Robert Brown Middle School, 2022 School Year.
* Contract Between Greene County Board and West Central Volleyball Officials Association for 2022-2023 School Year.
* Approval of Professional Leave for Major Davis, to travel to Kentucky, for JROTC Training.
* Approval of Capital Plan Five Year Plan.
* Approval of School Resource Officers Contract for 2022-2023 School Term.
Extended Contract for Ms. Evelyn James, from 2021 until Calendar Year 2022.
In other board business, the board approved the nomination of Ms. Verlanda Jones, Hale County School Board Member, for AASB District 7 Coordinator.

Commission approves FY 2022-2023 Budget; Sheriff charged for additional staff positions and SRO supplement

The Greene County Commission met in a called session, Tuesday, September 26, 2022 to consider and act on three particular items: Approval of the FY 2022-2023 Budget; The School Resource Officers contract; The sheriff’s supplemental contract which includes additional funds for SRO’s and the Sheriff’s funded staff positions (additional employees).
The discussions focused mainly on the County’s FY 2023 General Fund Budget.
According to CFO Macaroy Underwood the County’s total revenue and transfer budget for FY 2023 is $12, 349,593 and total expenditure and transfer is $11, 407,454, which means fund balance is budgeted to increase by $942,139. Bingo funds make up $900,000 of the projected surplus or increase in fund balance. Macaroy also noted that the County’s General Fund revenue and transfer total is. $4,027,161 with expenditures totaling $3,989,303. There is a General Fund surplus of $37,858.
The School District is requesting five SROs for the current school year (187 instructional days) at the previous basic rate. The Greene County Board of Education entered into an agreement with the Sheriff of Greene County for the purpose of establishing terms under which the Sheriff and the County agree to provide the School District School Resource Officers and the compensation (contracted rate) for the same is paid to the County by the School District. The Sheriff provides SRO pay beyond the 187 instructional days paid by the school system.
The Sheriff Department is allocated 51% from the County’s General Fund Budget, however, the Sheriff’s Supplemental Agreement with the County includes payments totaling $189,992, which the sheriff will provide to the County Commission for five additional employees in the Sheriff’s Department and $35,558 for additional pay and benefits for the School Resource Officers.

BBCF Greene County Community Associates collect and ship water donations to Jackson

Shown Darlene Robinson, BBCF Board President, Community Assoicates Mollie Rowe, Miriam Leftwich, Geraldine Walton and John Zippert.
Volunteers load truck with water
L to R: Employee of Stay N On the Move Trucking Co. Amos Dewayne Cameron, his Dad Daniel Gill UHaul Driver and Rev. Wendell H. Paris of Jackson, MS, upon arrival in Jackson.


Submitted by Miriam Leftwich

Cities across the county had been collecting water donations since the beginning of September, after the clean water crisis broke out in Jackson, MS. The Greene County Community Associates, of the Black Belt Community Foundation, took the lead in Eutaw, Alabama to help our neighbors in Jackson get bottled water. We knew that we needed to help out however we could.
Special thanks to our Mayor Latasha Johnson, who allowed the trailer to be parked on the premises of the Robert H. Young Community Center which was also the collection site.
Stay N On the Move Trucking, LLC allowed use of a trailer and transported the collected bottled water to Jackson, Mississippi. Donations poured in from the beginning of the Water Drive up until minutes prior to departure.
I am so grateful to this community, to all of the Pastors and the church families who took part in this drive, and to the Pastors and Deacons that helped to load and unload water from various destinations, to all of the Greek Letter organizations, Volunteer Fire Departments, Masonic and Eastern Star Lodges, Greene County High School Principal, students, and staff, Flowers Bakery, Tishabee Senior Citizens, Eutaw Housing Authority, Greene County Retired Educators Association, McInnis Mortuary, Greene County Ushers Alliance, Commissioner Allen Turner, Jr., Black Belt Law. All of the support that you showed was absolutely great.
There were approximately 38 organizations and 45 families that represented by showing up and donating numerous cases of water. Donations poured in from as far as California. We even had donations shipped via FED EX. Hale, Sumter, Choctaw, and Tuscaloosa counties also contributed. All of the love that your residents showed us will never be forgotten.
Approximately 325,000 bottles of water were collected. We are forever thankful to each and every one of you. We collected enough water to fill the trailer and had to get a second vehicle for the excess water. To our Sheriff and his staff, we tip our hats to you for such a wonderful sendoff. The Sheriff escorted the trucks from the Community Center to the Boligee exit.
The drivers had a safe trip; water was delivered and those on the receiving end were grateful to have it and expressed their appreciation for a job well done.

Newswire : Kenyan youth seek compensation from rich countries responsible for climate change

Kenyan climate protest


Sep. 26, 2022 (GIN) – Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Nairobi over the weekend to demand that wealthy countries pay more in the fight against climate change.
 “We need the Global North to pay for the damages they are causing,” said Duncan Omwami, an activist who joined the protest.
 “Ninety six percent of the emissions are being emitted by the Global North,” he said, “while four percent is emitted by the Global South. We are not able to make any great contribution to these emissions so we are demanding that the Global North pay for the loss and damage.”
 The march was part of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), a youth-based movement that holds street marches and protests as it highlights the need for wealthier countries to pay for the huge damage done to lands of smallholder farmers and pastoralists across Africa.
 PACJA climate activists point to the ongoing drought which has been described by locals as the “worst in 40 years”.
 “It unimaginable that communities can lose livelihoods due to the climate crisis and yet governments are too incapacitated to intervene,” said Mithika Mwenda, executive director of PACJA.
 Protestor Elizabeth Wathuti commented: “These disasters and these challenges are not just happening in Kenya, they are happening across the African continent. And this is a continent that has done the least to cause the climate crisis but still continues to bear the biggest brunt.”
 “So we are asking that countries which have contributed the most to this crisis should definitely not abandon these communities on the frontline to their fate but they should step up and fulfil the pledges they have made on climate finance,” she said in a press interview.
 In September 2021 almost 3.5 million Kenyans became victims of extreme weather with the government declaring it a national disaster. In the same period, around 200,000 people were displaced by flooding.
 Meanwhile, at the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) taking place in Dakar, Senegal, African climate activists expressed disappointment with the presentation of John Kerry, President Joe Biden’s Special Climate Envoy, accusing him of a lack of comprehension of the magnitude of climate change.
 “John Kerry came to AMCEN without coming out strongly to deliver a bold commitment that would offer hope to families in the Horn of Africa, Sahel and the rest of Africa whose livelihoods have been turned upside down by a problem they have very little to do with,’ said Mithika Mwenda, Executive Director of PACJA.
 In his speech during the African Ministerial Conference, Kerry urged every country to bear the burden of its impacts. Kerry acknowledged that the 48 countries of sub-Saharan Africa emit only 0.55% of global harmful emissions, but said that every nation had to pull together in the face of crisis. “And is there a disparity in that? Yes, there is. Is there an unfairness built into that? Yes, there is,” Kerry said.
 “Mother Nature does not measure where the emissions come from,” he said. “They don’t have a label of one country or another on them. And it’s important for all of us to now come together to figure out how we’re going to compensate for that and deal with it.”
 “The challenge of the climate crisis comes from the crisis of emissions in every country.”
 Mithika said African community-based organizations consider it a mockery to the people on the continent when a top US diplomat spews out what Africans have heard over the years without telling them why his country continues to churn out tons of carbon emissions across the Atlantic and on its failure to honor its commitments on climate finance.
 “Kerry’s mere recognition of the ‘climate crisis facing the African continent’ is just a tired rhetoric which we hardly want to hear.”
 

Newswire: Report: number of Black Americans serving long prison sentences far exceeds other groups

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent


While Black Americans remain vastly overrepresented in the prison population, a new report found that the disparity widens among those serving lengthy sentences.
The Sentencing Project found that in 2019, Black Americans represented 14% of the total U.S. population, 33% of the total prison population, and 46% of the prison population who had already served at least ten years.
In its extensive research, the organization discovered that the over-representation of people of color magnifies further among those serving even longer sentences in some jurisdictions.
For example, three-quarters of Californians serving over 15 years in prison are people of color—69% are Black or Latinx. In Washington, DC, 96% of those serving 15 years or longer sentences in 2020 were Black men. In Texas, Black people represented 34% of the total prison population in 2020, but 45% of people with 25 or more years served in 2021.
“The over-representation of Black Americans among the prison population serving lengthy sentences stems in part from racial disparities in serious criminal offending,” Nazgol Ghandnoosh, a senior research analyst at The Sentencing Project and co-author of the new report, told the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s Let It Be Known live morning news broadcast. Tackling this problem requires significantly ramping up crime preventative interventions in areas with concentrated urban poverty, Ghandnoosh stated.

She added that it’s no small feat given that the public’s association of crime with people of color lends support for more punitive approaches to public safety. “Biased criminal justice policies and practices exacerbate the over-representation of Black Americans among those serving lengthy prison terms,” Ghandnoosh asserted.
The report, headlined “How Many People are Spending Over a Decade in Prison,” revealed that more than 260,000 people in U.S. prisons had already been incarcerated for at least ten years in 2019, comprising 19% of the prison population.
Further, nearly three times as many people – over 770,000 – were serving sentences of 10 years or longer. Researchers said the figures represented a dramatic growth from 2000 when mass incarceration was already well underway.
The Sentencing Project reported that the United States remains an outlier among western democracies in its heavy and growing reliance on lengthy prison terms.
For example, in Germany, for all but 0.01% of prison sentences, officials have abolished the maximum sentence length is 15 years and life-without-parole and death sentences.
In contrast, U.S. policies respond to a far higher homicide rate by prioritizing punishment rather than prevention, Ghandnoosh stated. One in every seven people in U.S. prisons is serving a life sentence, and nearly half of U.S. states maintain the death penalty, with some continuing to carry out executions.
“Extreme sentences are so common in America that ten years behind bars can seem like a relatively short imprisonment,” Ghandnoosh explained.
“But it’s an incredibly long period – one in which people can experience profound change. After a decade of imprisonment, many incarcerated people mature, take accountability for their actions, and acquire skills to support their successful re-entry.”
Ghandnoosh continued: “Unfortunately, people with excessive sentences are rarely allowed to show how they have changed and have their sentences re-evaluated. That’s a major flaw in our legal system.”
The author noted that several legislatures and prosecutors’ offices have begun reducing lengthy prison terms, such as by scaling back truth-in-sentencing requirements and implementing second-look reforms which allow for reconsideration of imposed sentences.
These efforts reflect growing awareness that ending mass incarceration and tackling its racial disparities require scaling back long sentences, Ghandnoosh offered.
To further align criminal justice laws and policies with evidence on public safety, The Sentencing Project recommends downsizing the inflated sentencing structure by repealing mandatory minimum sentences and scaling back sentencing guidelines – and applying these reforms retroactively.
The organization also recommends reducing overcharging and promoting lower plea offers by prosecutors, expediting minimum eligible release dates through good time credits, earned time credits, and parole – and increasing the use of discretion to curb excessive prison terms.
Ghandnoosh also champions creating an automatic judicial sentence review process within a maximum of 10 years of imprisonment and limiting virtually all maximum prison terms to 20 years.

Newswire : Biden Student Debt Forgiveness Plan will serve those with greatest need

Chart of Student Debt Fairness

By: Charlene Crowell

President Joe Biden’s recent student debt cancellation announcement elicited a diverse range of reactions– some congratulatory, others critical, and still others that seem unsure what to make of the unprecedented multi-billion-dollar effort.
Predictably, long-time education and civil rights advocates spoke to the need for additional reforms, while others wondered about cancellation’s impact on an already troubled economy. Families struggling with the rising cost of living and deepening student debt –have only a few months to make household budget adjustments before loan payments resume in January.
The good news is that of the 43 million people affected by the executive action, 20 million borrowers will have all of their debt cancelled. Many of these borrowers incurred student loans but dropped out of school, left with thousands in debt and lower earnings due to the lack of a degree.
Another 27 million people from working class backgrounds who received Pell grants are assured of up to $20,000 in debt relief.
But these actions do not resolve the structural mismatch between the still-rising costs of college, limited family financial means to contribute to that cost, and the availability of financial aid other than interest-bearing loans.
“We’ve all heard of those schools luring students with a promise of big paychecks when they graduate only to watch these students be ripped off and left with mountains of debt,” stated President Biden on August 24. “Well, last week, the Department of Education fired a college accreditor that allowed colleges like ITT and Corinthian to defraud borrowers…Our goal is to shine a light on the worst actors so students can avoid these debt traps.” 

It seems like a perfect time for the Department of Education to clean house of all the bad higher education actors — especially costly for-profit institutions that promise a lot but deliver little, and accreditors that fail to do their jobs.
Changes to Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program rules will allow borrowers that would not otherwise qualify, to receive credit for past periods of repayment. Interested borrowers and their families can get more information on the program’s information page, but they must act by October 31. Details on the time-limited offer are available at:https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/pslf-limited-waiver.

But individual states must do their part as well. Across the nation, state revenues are flush with surpluses. “I don’t think there’s been a time in history where states are better equipped to ride out a potential recession,” said Timothy Vermeer, senior state tax policy analyst at the Tax Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. “A majority, if not all, of the rainy-day funds are in a really healthy position.”
“States vary in their relative allocations to higher education,” states the report. “Public institutions in some states remain primarily publicly funded, but a growing proportion have become primarily reliant on student tuition and fee revenue over the last two decades. ”The report notes that while federal stimulus and relief funds are helpful, they cannot be a replacement for long-term state investments, because stimulus funds are time-limited and often restricted in their use.

If we want to end the student debt trap, now is the time for citizens to challenge states to use their tax revenue to do more for their own constituents.
Charlene Crowell is a senior fellow with the Center for Responsible Lending. She can be reached at Charlene.crowell@responsiblelending.org.   

Newswire : New York AG: Donald Trump and family committed ‘staggering fraud’

Letitia James, New York Attorney General

By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

New York Attorney General Letitia James laid out the “staggering fraud” she said former President Donald Trump and his family committed for more than a decade.
During a highly anticipated news conference, James said Trump his Donald J. Trump, his children Eric, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., all repeatedly lied and made false claims to lending corporations and insurance agents.
She alleged the family overvalued Trump’s assets by billions of dollars.
James wants to stop Trump and his family from ever doing business in New York again.
“These acts of fraud and misrepresentation were similar in nature, were committed by upper management at the Trump Organization as part of a common endeavor for each annual statement and were approved at the highest levels of the Trump Organization – including by Mr. Trump himself,” James asserted. She concluded that Trump, his family, and business violated numerous state and federal laws, but conceded that her office doesn’t have the authority to file criminal charges.
James did refer her findings to the U.S. Attorney’s office in New York.
With the civil lawsuit, James seeks the return of $250 million in funds she said Trump obtained illegally.
In the 220-page lawsuit, James alleged that Trump’s annual financial statements were false and included records that greatly inflated the family’s wealth and the company’s estimated holdings.
She said all his major properties, including the Mar-a-Lago Estate in Florida and Trump Tower in New York were “wildly inflated.”
To help underscore her allegation, James used Trump’s apartment at Trump Tower to demonstrate that the family’s filings weren’t mistakenly overstated. “The number of grossly inflated asset values is staggering, affecting most if not all of the real estate holdings in any given year,” James asserted.
“[Trump] ignored independent appraisals of their properties and listed them as being worth hundreds of millions more than was reported by those outside assessors,” she declared.
James began investigating Trump during his presidency. The investigation gained momentum after Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen told a congressional committee that Trump inflated the value of some of his assets to get loans and insurance.
Cohen said Trump undervalued some things to score tax benefits.
The Trump Organization also allegedly engaged in a 15-year tax fraud scheme and faces trial in New York in October. Trump’s CFO Allen Weisselberg has pleaded guilty for his role in the scam and agreed to testify against his boss’ real estate company.
Reportedly, the Trump Organization offered to settle with James to stop the lawsuit, but the attorney general said she wasn’t interested in a

COVID-19

As of September 22, 2022, at 10:00 AM
(According to Alabama Political Reporter)

Alabama had 1,517,904 confirmed cases of coronavirus,
(5,770) more than last week with 20,395 deaths (73) more
than last week.

Greene County had 2,135 confirmed cases, 26 more cases than last week), with 52 deaths

Sumter Co. had 2,950 cases with 54 deaths

Hale Co. had 5,373 cases with 109 deaths

Note: Greene County Physicians Clinic has testing and vaccination for COVID-19;
Call for appointments at 205/372-3388, Ext. 142; ages 5 and up.

Yolanda Flowers, Democratic candidate for Governor holds rally in Greene County

By: John Zippert,

 Co-Publisher

Yolanda Flowers, Democratic candidate for Governor 
addresses Eutaw rally.
Yolanda Flowers, the first Black candidate of a major party for Governor of Alabama, was the guest speaker at a rally Sunday at the Robert H. Young Community Center in Eutaw. Flowers is running against incumbent Governor Kay Ivey in the November 8, 2022, General Election.
The rally was sponsored by the Greene County Democratic Executive Committee to introduce people in the Alabama Black Belt to “the next Governor of Alabama”. Lorenzo French, Chair of the Democratic Executive Committee said the rally was an historic occasion to support the Flowers for Governor campaign. Naomi Val Goodson Cyrus served as Mistress of Order and main cheerleader for the rally. There were also musical tributes by Loretta Webb Wilson and her daughter, Lauren,  and Rev. Kendrick Howell, Pastor of Little Zion Baptist Church in Tishabee, Alabama.
Greetings at the meeting were brought by Commission Chair Allen Turner, Latasha Johnson, Mayor of Eutaw and Spiver Gordon, civil rights leader. All stressed the importance of campaigning on the phone, door-to-door and attending meetings and rallies to get voters to turnout to vote in the coming election on November 8, 2022. Absentee ballots are available now at the Clerk of Court’s Office, for people who will not be able to get to the polls in November.
Flowers was introduced by Tony Humphries, Vice Chair of the Tuscaloosa Democratic Party who reviewed her education and work history as a teacher and speech pathologist in Tennessee and Alabama public school systems. She is the mother of 3 children, 12 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
Flowers in her speech said she was aware that many people to do not know that she and other candidates, including Will Boyd for U. S. Senate and Pamela Lafitte for Secretary of State, are running on the Democratic Party ticket in the November election. She mentioned there are also ten (10) Constitutional Amendments on the ballot for voters in November.
Flowers said, “I am running because Alabama is a rich state, but poverty is too high. We need better education, health care and criminal justice reforms for the people of Alabama.”
She said, “My platform includes more funding for education, adopting a lottery for education and other measures to raise teacher salaries, and provide teacher assistants in every classroom to give more personal attention to students. I support better health care including the expansion of Medicaid, which Governor Ivey has failed to act on in seven years. I believe in a woman’s right to choose and better reproductive care in the state. I am for reforming the criminal justice system that has hurt too many young Black people. I want to end voter suppression and increase the chance to vote for all people in Alabama, especially Black people who have been hurt in the past. Overall, I want to make Alabama a better place for all the people who live here.”
Flowers indicated that she had very limited financial resources to support her campaign, which hampered her ability to reach voters. Lorenzo French presented her a check for $1,000 from the Greene County Democratic Executive Committee and challenged the other 67 county committees to match Greene County’s efforts. French raised an additional $750 from persons at the rally to support the Flowers campaign.
Responding to the financial challenge, Rev. Kendrick Howell said each Black church in Greene County should raise $500 for the Flowers campaign.
Several ministers who were present at the meeting met after the rally to plan how to reach the 75 churches in Greene County with the message to contribute to Flowers campaign.
Closing out the rally, Johnnie Knott, former Circuit Clerk, and current State Democratic Executive Committee member representing House District 72 (Greene County) said “The best thing for voters to do was to put one ‘x’ on their ballot on November 8 and vote the straight Democratic ticket, which would elect Yolanda Flowers and all the other Democratic candidates, including local candidates in Greene County.” 
Several speakers at the rally noted that many of the local candidates, running with Flowers on the Democratic ticket, did not attend the rally, including the Sheriff, county commission and school board candidates. “We need more preachers, teachers and elected officials to come to meetings like this rally, to get the message out so we will have a great turnout for November 8th,” said Spiver Gordon.
For more information on the Yolanda Flowers campaign, she invited people to go to her website: http://www.yolandaforgovernor.com. Persons who want to contribute to her campaign may use her CashApp at: $yolanda4governor, to make donations.