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.