Inside Alabama Politics

Help Wanted: Speaker of the Alabama State House – Commentary

| Opinion

By: State Representative Anthony Daniels

Wanted: a Speaker of the House who will work across party lines to put Alabamians first and restore public trust in government. Must have the stamina, experience, and will to take on the state’s most pressing challenges, including the shortfall in our general fund, economic growth, tax reform and much, much more. Experience balancing budgets highly preferred. Strong moral character required.

Now, that is precisely what we need in our next speaker. Given the current state of Alabama government, we need a legislative leader who has the values and the backbone to move our state forward. After all, the best way to restore public confidence in government is to ensure that government works for the people.

As a legislator and an Alabamian its importance cannot be understated and should not be lost on my colleagues. I don’t know how the situation will play out, but I know that the Alabama House of Representatives stands at a crossroads. We can keep going down the same, well-worn path of partisan politics. A path where it seemed like many decisions were made behind closed doors. A path that’s been largely defined by a lack of progress on the issues that matter most to Alabamians. A path sadly that has led to the erosion of public trust in Montgomery, or, we have the opportunity to change direction and to right the ship. We can elect a speaker who truly works in the spirit of bipartisanship for the good of all Alabamians, rather than the good of the special interest. Together, we can implement some of the toughest ethical standards in the nation. Together, we can enact policies that promote job growth and an environment of entrepreneurship. Together, we can build stronger performing schools, expand access to healthcare, reform prisons to break the cycle of recidivism, and get our financial house in order.

All of this is possible. All of these problems are solvable. Call this idealistic, but I have no doubt that we can do it. Ultimately, that’s what we were elected to do. However, we must come together and resist the political hostility and divisiveness that has characterized the presidential race. My old Sunday school teacher, Ms. Alice would often say to us, “make sure you do the right thing in everything you do.” We must seize this opportunity to elect a speaker who will heed these words.  We must unite under a speaker who is willing to take our state in a new direction, one that fosters an atmosphere of openness, honesty, and fairness where every member is heard and people come before politics.

Individuals and families across this great state have empowered us to lead, to represent, and to govern. The time for a new direction is now. We simply cannot afford to delay and continuously play the same old games. The people of Alabama deserve it. The people of Alabama demand it. And frankly, they shouldn’t settle for anything less.

State Representative Daniels, represents District 53 in the Alabama House of Representatives.