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Three weeks ago, the Shelia Smoot for Congress campaign  was officially launched with a
bus tour of three counties in the district.

Since that time we have visited some of the poorer counties in the District - Wilcox and Perry County and visited with folks in Selma, Alabama at a Town Hall meeting.

Let me give you an idea of the despair and poverty in those counties very indicative of much of AL-07 - Wilcox County has an unemployment rate of 22% and a median income of just under 20k per year. Perry County's largest employer is a Catfish Farm that starts all of its workers at minimum wage. Half of the City of Uniontown (in Perry County) lives in some form of public housing.

We can do better

This District as I've stated in a past diary, lacks the necessary infrastructure to improve quality of life. Here's an excerpt

A recent report from 2007 Census Data  showed Alabama 49 in the country, falling only behind Mississippi, in terms of being able to access the internet from home. We are 48th in having access from some location which includes public libraries, free hot spots and schools. Improved access to high speed internet is a major component of our plans to improve the quality of life in the 7th Congressional district, which is composed of some of the most impoverished counties in the country . Not being able to access information through the internet is no longer a luxury but a requirement to be competitive in education and the workforce.

As you can see we are talking about a digital divide as well as traditional infrastructure divide.

People in this district are at a disadvantage and lack the needed resources. Here's another diary about how Perry County accepted toxic coal ash in a landfill

Residents are split on the benefits versus the cost as you can see in this article.

Shelia Smoot is running to become the first Congresswoman of this District because she believes in improving life for people in the entire District. She has fought to provide better resources for the people in her County Commission District.

AL (07) is a PVI +18 district. Right now it is represented by Congressman Artur Davis who is vacating this seat to run for Governor. There has been a fair amount of criticism of Davis being to the right of this district. I'll leave that discussion to another diary. However, I will say that Shelia Smoot will fight for all of the residents of this district.

We know that it takes time to get to know a candidate, but I ask that you have faith in Shelia and consider donating to her campaign. She is aiming to be accessible to the internet and social media community and is committed to strong grassroots efforts.

Will be happy to stick around and answer some questions.

Originally posted to draftsmoot on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 06:06 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  she's a fighter (3+ / 0-)

    and would help to improve live for all the people in this district.

  •  Sheila would be a good Congress member (7+ / 0-)

    She's smart and she cares about people. I am not thrilled with her work on the County Commission, but I think part of that can be attributed to our dysfunctional legislator/executive hybrid Commission.

    And we need a woman rep from Alabama!

    I live in the 6th not the 7th but I am supporting Sheila.

    "Maybe life's meaning is not so much found, as it is made." Opus, by Berke Breathed

    by Lisa in Bama on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 06:10:18 PM PDT

  •  Haven't heard of Smoot until now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And while I won't be voting for her (IN-07), I do have to confess, I'm not finding a whole lot about her on the "elect me for Congress" website...

    Let's just put it this way: I'm impartial when it comes to this candidate.

    •  what's "elect me for Congress" website (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      panicbean, alpolitics, MKDAWUSS

      are you talking about her website?

      what else would you like to know?

      •  Yep - the website you provided (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I peeked at the issues, and most of those look like something you would see for a candidate at the state level. When you're talking about running for office at the national level, while the needs of your district should be in the single digits on the priority list, I didn't see much about the national issues that would affect people like me as well.

        Like I said, I don't know much about her at all - I don't even know if she's going to end up being bought and paid for by the highest bidder...

        Blunt, a little selfish, but true.

  •  any donation would be appreciated (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alpolitics, CornSyrupAwareness

    this is a primary that is going to take an exorbitant amount of money and some of the other challengers will be extremely well funded. Shelia wil be the best for the people and most progressive for the district.

  •  she is the only candidate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    talking about what is really going on in the entire district. This is a very impoverished district that needs better infrastructure.

  •  Where Does Smoot stand on the issues? (5+ / 0-)

    Thanks for this diary, Draftsmoot, and it is vitally important as you note to elect to office politicians who will really improve the lives of their constituents.  

    But I'm not familiar with Smoot or the area so can you provide us more information:

    1.  about the biography (education,achievements, interests, experience) of the candidate?
    1.  Does Smoot stand in support of single payer (not just a public option but the legislation put forward by Congressman Conyers)?  What is Smoot's overall assessment of the current health care situation?  What role, if any, should insurance companies play in a reformed US healthcare system?
    1.  Where does Smoot stand on the continuiing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan?  Does Smoot support a continued military presence in these places?  Would Smoot vote to fund continued military expenditures for these wars?
    1.  Where does Smoot stand on climate change?  Would Smoot support the current legislation that was recently passed by the House?
    1.  What is Smoot's position on torture and the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate the wrongdoings of the Bush Administration and others related to illegal torture?
    1.  Does Smoot believe Gitmo should be closed, and if so, when?
    1.  Does Smoot support a more progressive system of taxation?  What is Smoot's position on tax breaks given out over the past decade?

    I'm sure that other posters can think of other issues that are important.  Too often in the past, we have supported candidates who mouth broad liberal values in "boilerplate" political stump speech language but do not put forth much in specifics or details.  To truly bring about change, I believe we need to be aware of the candidate's stand on specific issues.  

    I, and I'm sure other posters here, will be interested in Smoot's positions not in vague generalities but addressing the foregoing questions.

    "Tyranny & oppression are just as possible under democratic forms as under any other...democracy is a life & involves continual struggle." Robert LaFoll

    by fflambeau on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 06:39:44 PM PDT

    •  still forumlating policy positions (4+ / 0-)

      and I while I think I could do a good job, I don't have the authority to speak on all the issues.

      Here is some helpful stuff

      1. Shelia stands up for the rights of workers - She was at a rally for UFCW workers a couple of months ago in relation to closing of local grocery stores and making sure the workers. Her father was union at GM in Flint Michigan.
      1. She has been a long time advocate of improving health care seen in her support of Cooper Green Hospital in Birmingham. Indigent care facility. Her adversaries have attempted to close it and she has done all she can to insure that it is open.

      For this particular district, many of the counties are below the poverty line and are some of the poorest in the country. Quality and access to health care is a very important issue here.

  •  a little more bio and personal stories (3+ / 0-)

    she's a former investigative reporter, award winning journalist, she hosts a talk show on consumer rights, she's a single mother of a 15 year old daughter,

    having known her for the last ten years, I can honestly say that she cares about people and improving their lives. she's also not an empty promise democrat.

  •  I'll be following this race closely. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alpolitics, CornSyrupAwareness

    Looking forward to more info and progress diaries here on this site, as well.

    Alabama needs more progressive voices, truly progressive voices, I hope this is one of them.

    Keep us updated, and join in the community, please.

    pb in Florida

    If you can't fix it with a hammer, then you've got an electrical problem.

    by panicbean on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 08:08:53 PM PDT

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