What an eventful past week

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 1, 2004

The most enjoyable part of my service as your State Senator is the opportunity I have to mix and mingle with my constituents.

The past two weeks have been especially devoted to working with citizens from all across our six county district.

County Commissioners were at the State House this past week for what is called &uot;County Commission Day.&uot;

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Several County Commissioners stopped by for a visit, including Pike County Commissioner Karen Berry, Butler County Commissioners Jesse McWilliams, Dan Robinson and Frank Hickman, Crenshaw County Commissioner Ronnie Blackmon and Elmore County Commissioner Joe Faulk.

On Tuesday evening the Alabama Library Association hosted a reception for legislators at a local Montgomery hotel.

It was a real pleasure to visit with Renee Lester, my hometown librarian, and Henry and Margaret Stewart who represented the Pike County Library.

Margaret just recently retired as the head librarian in Troy after many years of outstanding and unselfish service to the Pike County community.

Tom Holmes, Director of the new Prattville Health and Rehabilitation Center, asked me to be on a program for the opening of this facility, and it was a treat to see so many friends present to support this wonderful new addition to the Prattville community.

The Alabama Disabilities Action Coalition held its annual legislative day on Capitol Hill this past week, and I was privileged to be a speaker on their agenda.

Approximately 1 million people in Alabama have some disability.

The focus of this meeting was getting legislators to understand disability issues and to help create an awareness of the day to day problems faced by persons with disabilities.

This is a legislative program which I whole- heartedly support, and I am confident we are making progress in helping people with disabilities in our state.

In a related meeting, I attended a reception hosted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

State Appeals Court Judge Sue Bell Cobb and Graham and Linda Champion are major voices for people with mental illness in Alabama, and I have supported their efforts through the years.

It was very encouraging to see so many people expressing their concerns about our mentally ill and what we can do to serve them.

Last week was capped off with a most impressive program at Troy State University where university officials and the TSU Board of Trustees dedicated the new Quad.

Chancellor Jack Hawkins spoke, as did many other individuals, including Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson, who spearheaded the wonderful new addition to the Troy campus.

Abraham Lincoln said it best many years ago.

Government is ‘of the people, by the people, and for the people.’

Interaction between elected officials and their constituents is the cornerstone of a successful democracy.

It is something that I try to emphasize in my public service, and I appreciate so much the opportunities which I have enjoyed this past week.

Senator Wendell Mitchell can

be reached at 334-242-7883, or by writing

to P.O. Box 225, Luverne, AL 36049.