First, I want to congratulate Gov. Kay Ivey on her election. She decisively earned the sacred responsibility of leading Alabama, and she deserves support from all of us. When the governor is successful, Alabama is successful. As mayor of Tuscaloosa, I look forward to working with Gov. Ivey. We may have differences on important policies, but one fact supersedes them all – we are all Alabamians.
Alabama has complicated challenges to address in the next four years. From Uniontown to Moulton, from Eight Mile to Elba, the campaign also allowed me to experience the deficits that have kept us at or near the bottom in nearly everything that matters. We must never lose sight of the human costs behind these troubling statistics.
Today in Alabama, a mother is going to lose her child because of the lack of prenatal care. Parents will send their children off to school with the false belief they are being prepared for a 21st century, technology-driven economy. A family is trapped in a generational cycle of crime, poverty, and blight, with no avenue of escape. There are communities whose health has been jeopardized because of gross neglect of infrastructure and environmental management. Mental health consumers will be sent to local jails because acute care services are woefully depleted.
Alabama’s challenges are real, and it is paramount that Montgomery makes real strides with real solutions. As your Mayor, I will continue to be forward leaning, and in the months ahead, I will be presenting bold proposals to prepare Tuscaloosa for a brighter future.
Regardless of our party identification, I believe most of us feel that the time has come for Alabama to turn the page and write new chapters defining our future. Gov. Ivey will need all of us to do this. Together, we must charge forward and rise.