The Birmingham Times
On Saturday, November 2 Representative Chris England, of Tuscaloosa, was elected Chair of the Alabama Democratic Party, becoming the first African-American to hold the position in the state Party’s history.
Here’s what he said afterwards:
Today, with great hope and enthusiasm I humbly thank the State Democratic Executive Committee and accept the call to serve as the next Chair of Alabama’s Democratic Party.
Our state party has a storied history as a strong, formidable force—people aligned with a shared vision for Alabama’s future and grounded in a belief in the rightful opportunity for every citizen to participate in this state’s governance and share in its prosperity.
Alabama’s Democratic Party has long been a place of refuge and inspiration for the most diverse, hardest working and often marginalized and underrepresented segments of our citizenry. Our elected and appointed Democrats serve this state as beacons of hope and inspiration for working families, ambitious innovators, entrepreneurs and the next generation of Alabamians who will make their mark on the world.
In recent years, this story has changed, and Alabama Democrats have witnessed a steep, unfortunate decline in the party’s impact on public policy and political direction. The party’s regression and outright retreat from active engagement into a lethargic and languished space has been difficult for many to watch and impossible to accept.
So today, with new leadership, we begin the hard work of restoring our purpose, policies, and commitment to the people we serve. I am asking Alabama Democrats to trade their spaces on the sidelines and plant their stakes on the frontline, where we have gathered in a commitment to move our party and our state forward.
Together, we will set out to earn the respect of those who remain hard at work, carrying the Democratic banner, ideals and goals with great Alabama pride and energy. We will work to restore the trust of those burdened with the fatigue of a crippling and polarized political climate. We will firmly plant the flags of equity, inclusion and participation at the forefront of our organization, its policies and its actions. And, though the road won’t be easy, we will recruit, unify, equip and elect Democrats to public offices across this great state!
I have asked [candidates for party chair] Tabitha Isner and Will Boyd to join me in the active engagement of Alabamians in all of our 67 counties. With our county chairs, in the days, months and years ahead we will work to organize, reconnect and rebuild the Alabama Democratic Party.
Since being elected to office in 2006, I have endeavored to be open, honest and transparent. This is who I am, and you can continue to count on this commitment in my new role as Chair. I thank Alabama Democrats for the trust you’ve placed in me, I and implore you—we need you with us on this journey.
Let’s get to work!