Montgomery, AL. – The Alabama House Democratic Caucus (AHDC) held its weekly Wednesday Press Conference on March 2, 2022, featuring Representatives Laura Hall (D-Huntsville), Kelvin Lawrence (D-Hayneville), Rolanda Hollis (D-Birmingham), and Jeremy Gray (D-Opelika).
Rep. Hall began the Press Conference expressing support for the people of Ukraine saying, “On behalf of the House Democratic Caucus, let me state clearly that we stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and strongly condemn the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin. During this conflict, we have witnessed the tremendous heroism and bravery of the Ukrainian people who cherish freedom, who stand against tyranny, and who are willing to fight to defend their right to vote in free and fair elections. The Ukrainian people have also shown us quite clearly the difference between the concepts of nationalism and patriotism.”
Rep. Hall also discussed her sponsorship of HB360 which would extend postpartum Medicaid assistance to new mothers from 60 days after childbirth to one year. This would ensure that new mothers and their newborn children have access to the medical care they need and it would help drastically reduce the high rates of pregnancy-related mortality observed in Alabama.
Next, Rep. Lawrence discussed his sponsorship of HB202, which would provide a four percent increase in salary for all Alabama state employees, saying, “The truth is that our state employees are unsung heroes who have devoted their careers to serving their fellow citizens. Right now, inflation has caused prices to soar, rent and housing prices have continued to climb, and gasoline prices are predicted to rise sharply.”
Following Rep. Lawrence, Rep. Hollis discussed her opposition to HB312, a bill proposed by Rep. Ed Oliver (R-Dadeville) that would ban “divisive concepts” from being taught in Alabama schools. Rep. Hollis remarked, “The concepts of diversity and inclusion are integral to (our) definition of patriotism because it helps us to acknowledge and celebrate our racial, ethnic, religious, and cultural differences, rather than pretending that they somehow don’t exist, or worse, don’t matter.”
Closing remarks were made by Rep. Gray who stated, “Today, we have touched on the difference between uplifting patriotism and toxic nationalism, but I think it’s also critical that we discuss how important it is that we protect our right to vote and put an end to the unethical practice of gerrymandering districts.” Rep. Gray also noted, “That is why we are so passionate about our “Pro-Growth, Pro-Innovation, and Pro-Alabama” legislative agenda that focuses on economic growth, affordable healthcare, education innovation, voting rights, and justice for all. We are passionate about these things because we believe they comprise the most fundamental issues that will ensure the future health and prosperity of our democracy.”
The AHDC March 2, 2022 Weekly Press Conference may be seen in its entirety by clicking the following YouTube link: https://youtu.be/jHenzo_Po3c
The next AHDC Weekly Press Conference will be held March 9, 2022 and a press release with details for in-person or virtual attendance will be sent early next week.