Midterm Elections: Issues Affecting the Black Community

Submitted by Phyllis Jones, Speakin' Out News, Senior Staff Writer

(LEFT – RIGHT): Alabama House Minority Leader, State Rep. Anthony Daniels, District 53 and City Councilman Will Culver, District 5 responds to Speakin’ Out News’ questions about issues affecting Madison’s county Black community. (courtesy photos)

Since Donald Trump was elected President and the Republican Party is “running things”, the 2018 midterm elections have been the most talked about and anticipated election in decades. Americans have witnessed lies being told, to cover the lies that have been told, about any and everything from A to Z. In addition, Americans, especially African Americans, are still being subjected to justice and social inequalities.

Speakin’ Out News contacted some local officials, to find out what issues they are concerned about and addressing that affect the black community, as we approach the midterm election. Here is what Representative Anthony Daniels (District 53) and Councilman Will Culver (District 5) had to say:

Representative Anthony Daniels is focused on prison reform, reducing recidivism, decriminalizing marijuana charges, Medicaid expansion and education. Medicaid expansion would be a significant benefit for the State of Alabama. Representative Daniels shared that 300,000 Alabamians are under insured. He is also exploring the idea of having a conversation about producing and supplying medical marijuana like California and Colorado. He is not certain of the number of Alabama residents who would benefit from its use, but he is aware that there are some who are benefitting medically from the use of the oil.

Education is always at the top of Representative Daniels’ list of concerns. He has a strong desire to invest in the “Cradle to Pre-K” programs, by providing a state-wide certified curriculum that will help educate the whole child. Locally, Representative Daniels’ is a supporter of the Village of Promise. “This is a great program that educates the child and the parent. I would like to expand the reach in North Huntsville and to other areas, for families who are not doing as well.”

As he reflected upon his upbringing, Representative Daniels acknowledged that he missed out on some academic enhancements such as Head Start. Even though he is doing quite well for himself, he believes that he could be much farther down the road if Head Start was available where he grew up. “There is no telling where I would be if these programs were available. This is what motivates me politically. I want to create ways to close the achievement gap.” As a firm supporter of higher education, Representative Daniels makes sure his alma mater (Alabama A&M University) have resources and is treated equivocally.

As a “your vote does count” advocate, Representative Daniels want Alabamians to remember what happened December 12, 2017. Doug Jones, an Alabama Democrat, was elected Senator. It was a historical election because African Americans went to the polls. The same thing can happen during the midterm election. “We need to elect people who have a sense of community. Don’t vote for a person because they look like you. Vote for that person because they think like you or love and care for people like you.”

Representative Daniels’ mission for the next four years is to “develop and create pathways out of poverty”. He thinks about this every day and would like to partner with churches and organizations to help accomplish this goal.

Councilman Will Culver expressed his concern about the lack of African American representation, as we approach the midterm elections. He want people to become politically motivated. “Not assuming that all African Americans are Democrats, but in main stream we are not represented as well. Those who are elected are more concerned with being pro Trump instead of ‘I’m going to represent the interest of all the people.’ “

Councilman Culver want voters to get out and vote like they did in December for Doug Jones. “We have the ability to put people in office that will serve our interest, in conjunction with the interest of other people.” He believes there are people being elected to office with no desire or consideration about African American communities. “Our leaders should work towards more diversity. We have enough registered voters in Madison County that could determine the outcome of any election. Unfortunately, it is common knowledge that African Americans don’t vote like our counter parts.”

According to Councilman Culver, approximately 12.9% of the national population are African Americans. He realizes that if we don’t get the right people elected during the midterm, African Americans will not have people looking out for them from an economic, business or educational perspective.