Friday, October 03, 2008

Guest Post From Alabama Democrat Josh Segall


Tomorrow, Josh Segall will be out Blue America guest at Firedoglake (1pm, Central Time). I asked him to use a topic he feels passionately about to introduce himself tonight. He's running in a tough but far from impossible district, AL-03.

-by Joshua Segall

So this is really both the story of what made me want to run for Congress and also the model for the kind of work that I'm most excited about. When I was in law school at the University of Alabama, I started a program called Homegrown Alabama. We brought together students, faculty, farmers and businesses to get the University to buy more produce from local farmers. The farmer’s market we started still runs today. But when we started it, we couldn't get enough farmers because we were in the middle of a terrible drought. 

Droughts in Alabama aren't a Nature problem. They're an infrastructure problem. We have more water than almost any other state in the country. We just don't save our water. California, at one point, produced 80% of the winter vegetables in this country mostly by irrigating desert land.  Alabama has 7 million acres we used to farm and could farm again. 

3 million acres would be more valuable than the whole of our automobile industry and in 2009 we'll be the leading manufacturer of automobiles in the country. We could farm that land while encouraging consumption of local foods and bringing down the price of food. 

So that's the heart of what I'm about: using our resources and developing our infrastructure. Giving people $600 is not the way to improve the economy in this country. Investing in basic infrastructure is. Alabama has enormous potential if we had good roads, bridges, and basic medical care. If we don't invest, we'll continue to see rural communities fail to sustain themselves and young people won't move home-- there will be no jobs to move home to. 


You can learn more about Josh and his campaign here and, like I said, tomorrow, 11am, PT, he'll be joining us live at Firedoglake. Meanwhile, here's a campaign ad that pissed off Republican rubber stamp Mike Rogers no end:

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