“Alabama Arise” Members Vote on Key Issues to Tackle in 2018
The anti-poverty group “Alabama Arise” is deciding what specific issues they’ll tackle in 2018. Arise members voted on five of seven possible issues for next year, during their annual meeting. Each has the goal of helping low income people.
The issues ranged from from tax reform to the death penalty. Some of the Alabama Arise members voting today have faced those issues first-hand.
“I’ve been through times where I was going through something by myself. You get together in a group like this-you meet hundreds of other people around the state with the same struggle as you,” says Robyn Hyden.
Also on the list: Payday loans, adequate state budgets, housing trust fund and public transportation.
One particular issue that’s new? Criminal justice debt.
This issue of people who are actually having to serve jail time just because they couldn’t pay a fine for a broken tail light. That has emerged as something that most jurisdictions in alabama don’t do but there are places that are really bad at that,” says state coordinator Kimble Forester.
Members are confident moving forward, just as they have all along.
“We’ve made progress on issues like lowering the taxes for people in poverty. We’ve worked really hard on bills to regulate lending-getting rid of payday and title loans more and more people are aware of those issues,” says Hyden.
The Alabama Arise members say there is a lot more work to do.
“It’s important that the people have a voice at the state house. It’s the people’s house and so many groups have lobbyists. We the people, should lobby for our own causes as well,” says Hyden.
What’s next? The next legislative session is in January and Arise will sponsor a legislative day in February.
“The real work begins when we get back home, when we talk to our senators and representatives. If we see them in the grocery store, bring up the issues with them,” says Forester.