Federation of Southern Cooperatives to hold 51st Annual Meeting on August 16-18

         Cornelius Blanding

Ralph Paige

The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/ Land Assistance Fund will hold its 51st Annual Meeting next week, August 16-18, 2018. Cornelius Blanding, Federation Executive Director announced that the program would begin in Birmingham on Thursday August 16 at the Hyatt Regency Winfrey Hotel with a Board of Directors meeting, Co-op Roundtable and other events. At 7:00 PM the Federation will hold its 17th Annual Estelle Witherspoon Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner at the Hyatt Regency. “We have decided to honor Ralph Paige, our recently deceased Executive Director from 1985-2015, posthumously with this important award for 46 years of service to the organization,” said Blanding. Members of Ralph’s family including his wife Bernice and two children – Bernard and Kenyatta – will be present to accept the award, “In years past, we gave this honor to Civil Rights leaders and veterans, Hollywood actors, Congressmen and women who provided humanitarian service to the Black community and African-American farmers and landowners in particular. This year, we decided to honor one of our own.

Sadly we are doing this posthumously after his recent and untimely death,” said Blanding. On Friday and Saturday, August 17 and 18, 2018, the meeting shifts to the Federation’s Rural Training and Research Center, near Epes, Alabama in Sumter County. On Friday, we will hold a series of activities including exhibits, speakers, USDA panel discussions, workshops and agri-tours. Later that evening, enjoy the fun and excitement of the Auction and Fish Fry with live entertainment!   Saturday’s meeting will begin with a Prayer Breakfast and conclude with the Annual Business Meeting and State Caucus reports. A highlight of this meeting will be the announcement of a $10 million dollar Capital Campaign to reinvigorate the Federation’s Forty Acre and a Mule Endowment Fund to support the long term goals and programs of the Federation and main its unique Rural Training and Research Center near Epes, Alabama. For more information and to purchase tickets for the 51st. Annual Meeting contact: www.federation.coop or www.give2federation.org or call 404/765-0991 in Atlanta and 205/652-9676 in Epes, Alabama.

Grace Atkins Lavender seeks District 5 Commission seat

 

Grace Atkins

My name is Grace Atkins Lavender, and I am announcing my candidacy for Greene County Commissioner of District 5 in the Primary Election on June 5th, 2018. Being a resident of Greene County my entire life, I have witnessed candidates make promises, share their hopes and visions, only to see them never materialize for the citizens of their respective districts. This leads me to the conclusion that it’s time to put a stop to broken promises and produce plans for visions to become a reality.
I realize that this must be a collaborative effort and I am willing to work with other commissioners, mayors, councilpersons, community and district leaders to see results. Further, I will make myself visible in the community throughout the four years and not only during my campaign bid as commissioner.
My heart goes out to two of the most vulnerable of the community, the youth and elderly. The youth need to be heard and respected because they are our future, and the elderly have the wisdom of the past that can provide insight to make our future brighter. I respect both and will seek ways make both of them instrumental in all decision and plans implemented. As I continue to visit my community my ears and heart will be open to your concerns and make sure it is noted and plans are implement around your concerns. I am asking for your vote on June 5th to be your next representative as County Commissioner of District 5. Together we can turn the tide for a brighter future.
Thank you in advance for your support.

ANSA endorses local candidates in the Democratic primary set for June 5, 2018

The Greene County Chapter of the Alabama New South Alliance (ANSA) met over the past weekend to screen and endorse candidates for the primary election to be held on June 5, 2018.
Candidates for local offices made short presentations to the ANSA members and then answered questions from a screening committee and the general membership.
For Probate Judge, ANSA endorsed Jeremy Rancher in a close contest with Rev. James Carter. Rev. John Kennard and Rashon Smith also appeared to be screened, however neither Rolanda M. Wedgeworth nor Grace Belton Stanford, who were invited, appeared before the group.
For Circuit Clerk, ANSA endorsed Veronica Morton Jones over Debra Blackmon.
For Sheriff, ANSA heard from Lorenzo French and Beverly Spencer, two of the four candidates and endorses Lorenzo French. Incumbent Sheriff Jonathan Benison and Jimmie L. Benison declined the invitation to appear before the group.
For Coroner, ANSA chose to endorse Ronald K. Smith, incumbent Coroner, for the position over Finest Gandy Jr., his opponent.
ANSA heard from most of the candidates for the Greene County Commission and endorsed the following:

• Lester Brown –
District 1
• Tennyson Smith –
District 2
• Elzora Fluker –
District 3
• Allen Turner Jr. –
District 4
•Rashonda Summerville –
District 5

The ANSA members plan to work between now and the election to support this slate of local candidates. On April 21, ANSA will hold its statewide convention in Montgomery to screen and endorse candidates for statewide and multi-county districts to complete its slate of candidates for the June 5, 2018 primary election.