Committee to Elect Darrell Turner
AL-SD13 in AL http://www.electdarrellturner.com
937 Ross Street
Primary Election Date: 2014-06-03 General Election Date: 2014-11-04
Who am I?
I was born and raised in Cleburne County, Alabama, where I still live with my wife, Bonnie, and son, Bradley. Bonnie and I have been happily married since 1982.
After graduating with honors from Cleburne County High School, I studied political science and history at the University of South Carolina and Jacksonville State University. I then went on to George Meany Labor College to study labor management and organizing, and I studied pipe welding and fabrication at Aiken Technical College. In 1968, I affiliated with the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters of the United States and Canada.
Over my 47-year career with the pipefitters, I have been very blessed and rewarded for hard work. I have worked in a range of capacities from fabricator to project manager to business representative, the role in which I now serve. I'm proud to represent 350,000 members of this organization across the country, having traveled to every US state but four. My current reach covers the southeastern states, portions of the Gulf of Mexico, and part of the Atlantic Ocean from Key West to the Carolinas.
In addition to my work, I serve as the president of the Pilot Club of Heflin and the Cleburne County Chair for the Alabama Democratic Party.
Why am I running?
I'm running because I'm tired of feeling like I have no one to call in Montgomery to express my concerns. Over the past four years of a supermajority in the legislature, working people have been made second-class to big-business, children's educations have been turned into a profit-making venture for a few wealthy individuals and bills have been passed behind closed doors in the middle of the night.
I'm not going to stand for that. Our current state senator is running for his tenth term in the legislature, and I believe it's time for new leadership who will stand up for hard work, protect public education and do the work of government with honesty and integrity.
My first priority will be to protect and restore public education in Alabama. We have a range of issues with our public schools, but the first issue is the Alabama Accountability Act, which pulled $40 million from public schools to send wealthy students to private schools. I will vote to repeal it every opportunity I can. Our public dollars should stay in our public schools. Instead, we should fully fund the programs that we know work for our children, particularly in the STEM fields, to give them all an opportunity to succeed. My second issue with our public education system is that we have no widely available, quality pre-k program for Alabama's children. I will work with the Education Ways and Means Committee and the State Department of Education to find the funding to create this program and ensure it functions appropriately.
My second policy priority will be to create jobs and ensure that we have an educated workforce capable of performing them. Not every student is interested in pursuing a four-year college degree, but they do deserve the ability to learn a skill to provide for themselves. I will support legislation to put career-tech programs into Alabama's public schools by partnering with local two-year colleges and existing businesses in the community who can offer training and experience.
Third, I will work to expand and protect voting rights in Alabama. The right to vote is the cornerstone of Democracy. While the supermajority is discussing closing our primaries, I will not support any legislation that would disenfranchise anyone from voting. I will work with the Secretary of State to formulate a plan to allow same-day voter registration, early vote, vote by mail, and online voter registration to open channels to allow voters to cast ballots more easily.
My DFA Values
As a candidate, my primary focus for my district is to help build the community from the ground up. For too long we have been told that the rest will prosper when a few succeed. I want to make sure that every hard working Alabamian has a fair shot--from quality public education to affordable college or career training to a good-paying, honest job. The vital component to that chain is the security of available and accessible public education for all children starting with pre-k. Alabama's numbers are consistently at the bottom in rankings for public education. In order to grow our economy and bring in business, we need to educate our children so they will become quality workers of the next generation. In order to do these things, we need government that plays by the rules and operates fairly. Rather than making confusing changes to our voting laws, let's work to expand voting rights so that all Alabamians have a say in the way they are represented in Montgomery and how their tax dollars are spent in the budget.
My Campaign is People Powered!
We have started a people-powered field campaign to allow voters to connect neighbor-to-neighbor and share why they're ready for change in Alabama's 13th senate district. We have been working with members of the labor community, the College and Young Democrats, the local Democratic clubs and several members of the Greater Birmingham DFA to help build this campaign's momentum from the outside.