Local candidates to speak at education town hall on Monday

Published 10:34 am Saturday, February 10, 2024

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A Chambers County education town hall will be held on Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. CT at the Powell Chapel United Methodist Church in LaFayette. The event is sponsored by the Chambers County Equity Initiative (CCEI), formerly known as LaFayette Teachers Against Displacement (L-TAD).

The evening will feature some of the candidates up for the school board president and superintendent position. It will also include information on voter registration, polling places, and other voting information, in the run-up to the Mar. 5 primary. Tytiana Smith, one of the founders of the CCEI along with LaWendy Willis and Dr. Travis Smith, said the event is to give the community a chance to hear candidates outline their platforms and ask them questions. 

Frederick “Reco” Newton, one of the two democratic nominees for school board president, will be there. The superintendent candidates that are set to attend are Winford Ashmore, the Democratic candidate who is running unopposed in the primary, and Sharon Weldon who is running against incumbent, Casey Chambley in the Republican primary. Because Ashmore is running unopposed, the position will not be on the democratic ballot during the primary election, in accordance with Alabama State Law. 

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The two current members of the school board who are running, Superintendent Casey Chambley and board president, Jeffery Finch, will not attend. Smith said the incumbents were not invited to the event.

“We truly feel they won’t be a good fit as far as uniting the county,” said Smith. “If we have a debate that might look differently. As for the town hall, we want to make sure that we stand firm in our beliefs and if we stand for equity, we don’t invite people who don’t stand for equity.”

According to the event flyer, the CCEI’s mission is “to advocate for equitable opportunities, resources, and rights for all residents, regardless of background.” The group that started as L-TAD continues to grow said Smith. She said the organization hopes to add new groups within the organization for community members to get involved with. 

“​​We wanted to expand and make the entire county feel included in our fight because even while we were L-TAD we weren’t just advocating for the LaFayette, we were advocating for the entire county,” said Smith. “We want everyone to feel included and expand and invite more community members into the organization. So everyone can have a voice so we fight for equity.”

The organization has held other community meetings on various topics. The town hall will be at Powell Chapel UMC located at 100 3rd Place NE LaFayette, Al. 

“We want everyone to come out with their questions, so they can get a feel of the candidates and see who aligns best with their interests,” Smith said. 

One of the ways to register for voting is through the Alabama Secretary of State’s website.