Local News

Clark-Frieson Challenges Incumbent Fincher for District 37 Seat

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Clark-Frieson challenges incumbent Ficher for District 37 Seat

Valley Times News Article

After taking the District 37 nomination in 2014, incumbent Republican Bob Fincher is now defending his seat from Democratic challenger Charlotte Clark-Frieson. District 37 covers Cleburne, Randolph and Chambers counties. Fincher has represented the area for the past four years and said he would continue on the path he has laid for himself and the district if re-elected.

"What I hope to continue to do is to work hard in the fields of economic development in the district and to improve education," he said. "I think we have seen some improvements over the last four years, but we still have a lot that can be accomplished.

An educator before his political career, Fincher said that the improvements to education will come from a change in curriculum. "For a long time, we were under a common core curriculum in the state and hopefully we are coming out from under that," he said. "I would like to see Alabama educators develop their own system, which I think would be far superior to what we have seen in the past."

Fincher said he is a "very conservative" Republican and hopes to continue his work in the office he currently holds.

"I feel like in your first term, ther is a learning curve and you are really better prepared in a second term because of your knowledge of the system," he said. "I think I can be more effective during a second term."

His opponent, Clark-Frieson said that her goal if elected is to better represent those who don't necessarily share the same party views as the incumbent. "Alabama right now is operating under a super-majority," she said. "We have a Repblican trifecta in the state."

Also a teacher before her run for office, Clark-Frieson wants to fund education throughout the district better.

"I want to see more money for education through the state lottery," she said. "I am willing to work with the governor becuse we need a way to fund education. I think the state of Alabama has over-accepted failing schools, and I feel like the ones in Chambers County are among those schools. What we have got to do in that regard is put in place a mechanism to study these schools and figure out why they are failing."

Born and raised in Roanoke, Clark-Frieson said she wants to expand Medicaid for more healthcare options to be readily available for people in more rural areas.

"When you reach my age, one of the main concerns is health care," she said. "How close is the closest hospital? If I have a medical emergency, how long would the ambulance ride be?"

She said she would also focus on revitalizing her home county.

"I feel like, in recent years, Roanoke has completely disintegrated," she said. "When you go through our cities and towns it's just a degenerative process that you see, and it makes me sad. I would do everything in my power to make these areas robust and vibrant with activity the way they were many years ago."

Clark-Frieson Addresses Alabama AFL-CIO In Montgomery

Clark-Frieson Addresses Alabama AFL-CIO In Montgomery

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With the objective of securing an endorsement and perhaps funding and support for her campaign, Charlotte Clark-Frieson, Democratic Candidate for Alabama House District 37 attended the state meeting of the AFLCIO, held Thursday, in Montgomery.  Along with some 50 to 60 other candidates for both State and Federal offices, Clark-Frieson addressed what looked to be more than 150 Delegates during their Candidate's Forum.

Her comments -- limited to three (3) minutes -- focused on her younger years as the wife of the late Clarence Frieson, Jr., who, for nearly 20 years, was employed at Uniroyal-Goodrich Tire Company in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and the many protections that she came to appreciate about his unionized job.  She recalled that her late husband's salary far exceeded her starting pay as a college-educated beginning teacher.  And she could not recall ever having to pay a dime in co-pays for the birth of either of her two adult children. Upon Frieson's death, her survivor's benefits which covered both her and her two minor children at that time, were based on his substantial salary, which afforded her the ability to comfortably remain at home and take care of their school-age children until they were ready to exit high school. "I came to appreciate the security of unions, and the value the unions demanded for working people" she told the group.

Clark-Frieson told the group; "I could certainly use a check. But in the event you don't see fit to contribute to our campaign, "boots-on-the-ground" will be sufficient.  And we will appreciate and receive with an open heart, any support you can offer us."

She concluded: "Knowing what I know about unions and the labor movement, there is no way I would go to Montgomery as a State Legislator, and sit tight-lipped and not speak out in support of labor, if the opportunity presented itself.  Again, thank you for the opportunity to come and address the delegates today."  

About Clark-Frieson:  Charlotte Clark-Frieson is a life-long resident of Roanoke, Alabama, local entrepreneur,  former public school teacher, and former elected official in Randolph County.  She’s also the daughter of two legendary and beloved community leaders:  the late Wilkie Clark, a dynamic and outspoken Civil Rights Leader known state wide for his life long dedication to civic and political activism; and career educator, the late Mrs. Hattie Lee Peters Clark whose flawless career in Randolph County spanned 36 years.  The Auburn graduate declared her candidacy for State House 37 on February 6 in Montgomery, Alabama.  She is one of more than 70 African-American women running for State Office in Alabama.

Huntsville Immigration Protest disrupted by Gunman

Charlotte A. Clark-Frieson

Huntsville Immigration Protest disrupted by  Gunman

On yesterday, I read with interest, an article that reported on a former  Huntsville School Teacher -- 34-year-old Shane Ryan Sealey -- who was apprehended and taken into custody after pulling out a gun during an Immigration Protest Ralley at Big Spring Park in Huntsville.

 

The "Families Belong Together Rally" in Huntsville was part of a Nationwide Day Of Action, protesting the Trump Administration's policy of forcibly separating children from their parents and demand that separated families immediately be reunified.

According to the news report, Sealey was counter-protesting during the Huntsville protest and at some point, he was observed pulling out a gun.  He was seen by one of the Rally Organizers, Ava Caldwell.  "He pulled out a gun. I saw him holding it out in front of him. We just started screaming for everybody to drop to the ground," said Caldwell. "We all dropped to the ground crying."  

Police reported that Sealey had come to the rally to counter-protest, and got into a verbal altercation with someone at the protest.

Also, police reported that no shots were fired and no one was hurt; and the protest resumed and continued as planned with no further incident.

Interestingly, under Alabama law, it is illegal to carry a firearm within 1,000 feet of a demonstration. But, notwithstanding the law, it is still my belief that many citizens don't fully understand the implications of their 2nd Amendment right, when proponents of sensible gun legislation push for that, and go to irrational extremes in pushing back.  This is why it is imperative that sensible gun laws be enacted, to protect everyone from the danger of injury or death by someone in possession of a firearm who possess no sense of restraint.

Although -- thanks be to God -- no one was injured or killed during Saturday's incident, the outcome could easily have been tragic. Moreover, even without injury or death, we are still compelled to think about the emotional damage, via the exposure to the extreme mortal fear inflicted upon all those present at this event!!

Folks, we have got to be both reasonable and rational in our views about gun laws. I believe our laws must be designed to bring order to our communities, and place reasonable limits on certain basic rights where citizens might not have the moral conscience, the good sense, or the mental capacity to exercise restraint, self-discipline, or simply use sound judgment in use of a weapon.

That's why I am proud to have been given the designation of "gun-sense" candidate.  Please know that it is not my objective to take away your 2nd Amendment Right.  But, for the safety and security of ALL citizens, we must put in place reasonable limitations on the possession and use of guns.    

To learn more about my position on Gun-Sense Legislation, please review my platform at the following link. When you open the page, please navigate to the section entitled: "Guns."

https://vote-al.org/Intro.aspx?State=AL&Id=ALClarkFriesonCharlotteA

Another School Shooting In Texas... When Will We say Enough Is Enough?

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Another School Shooting In Texas... When Will We say Enough Is Enough?

Within the last few moments, I have learned of yet another school shooting -- this time in Santa Fe, Texas.  At the time of this post, an estimated 8 to 10 people had been reported dead as a result of this horrendous incident. According to reports, there is a suspect in custody.

So, here I sit with my eyes peeled on my favorite news stations -- CNN and MSNBC -- trying to wrap my mind around the gruesome details of this tragedy.

At this point in time, all I can feel is disgust for those in our nation who are so rigid and unyielding in their belief that anybody wants to rob them of their right to bear arms that they cannot comprehend a need to more closely regulate, control and monitor access to deadly weapons.   

* Background checks are reasonable.
* The need for gun-sense legislation across our nation is reasonable, and will not deprive any
   citizen of their basic right to bear arms.
* Lawmakers at every level; local, State and Federal, who cater to the NRA need to be voted
  out of Congress NOW.

As further details of this tragedy emerge, this is a certainly a time for action; for voices to be heard; but, more importantly in this moment, it is a time to remember the fallen, in our every thought and prayer that they will somehow find peace in the midst of this incredible and violent storm that has engulfed our nation.