THE RETHINK ALABAMA CAMPAIGN

Economic Development Plan

Addressing Alabama's Issues

Poverty, Jobs, Education, Clean Energy, and more...

How My Economic Development Plan Address Poverty In Alabama, and How We Get Real Results.

Back in December the United Nations said that Alabama's poverty ranks up there with the worst on the nation (see attached article from www.al.com included). This is a very real and serious problem in our state. We have a wealth of opportunities within our state to solve many of our problems without even having to go outside of our state in order to find long term solutions. We can't wait two to three years for an idea to reap results. We need solutions now, and my plan promises results.

"Tackling Poverty in Alabama"

Part of my "Economic Redevelopment Plan" entitled "Poverty in Alabama", addresses this serious and timely concern. To do nothing, like our government has in the past, is inhumane and completely unacceptable. We must act now, and we must come up with solutions that are not going to significant increase Alabama's debt, as well as creating a strong foundation of solutions on which to build Alabama's economic infrastructure for the next century.

"What My Plan Will Accomplish & What Will I Do"

  • I will push for hardening Alabama's environmental laws to proivde more comprehensive protection for the environment.
  • I will end the practice of allowing other state's to dump waste in Alabama, and call for an immediate review of all current waste management agreements that we have with other states.
  • I will restore operations at all state parks with the implementation of volunteer land management partners to assist the state in maintaining the parks so that Alabama citizens can enjoy the beauty of our state for many years to come. These volunteers from around the state will be chosen and supervised by the state.
  • I will create 5 new recycling facilities in Alabama, by upgrading existing facilities and converting vacant industrial facilities to serve as recycling centers, within my first year as governor. Within this first year this will create 6,000 new jobs and around 3 million dollars in additional revenue from the sells cost from the recycled materials, cost savings from the use of re-purposed recyclables on infrastructure projects, income taxes, business taxes and other spinoff sources of revenue.
  • I will set into place plans to use re-purposed recyclables, along with other innovative construction methods, to build temporary short term and portable residential units for safe and effective housing for the extremely impoverished. This option is the humane approach, and saves the state and tax payers funds. These units only cost around $2000 to $4000 a piece. This cost can drop as lower by using safe innovative materials made from re-purposed recyclables from within our state. The revenue needed to fund this project can be realized by using a percentage of the revenue generated from the recycling industry and spinoff revenue, and innovative building materials, these units can easily be built in a few days. This project will save the state money by eliminating the number of expenditures, for handling logistical issues, due to poverty issues related to health care and safety.
  • I will implement new trade skill training programs for the residents of the most impoverished communities in Alabama to earn on the job experience and training as they take part in apprenticeships with labor and construction unions that partner with the program.
  • I will introduce policies to create on the job training programs for impoverished workers, and the unemployed and under employed, that offers training in the clean renewable energy industry to those who need it the most. These training programs will help the poverty and unemployment problem in the state. Throughout the state where solar farms, wind farms, research stations and other clean energy development locations are set up we will have mobile training stations where individuals can start the process of learning new skills in a growing industry. These training stations are also going to be very important in helping those transition from jobs in the coal industry transfer over into jobs in the clean energy industry by offering them skill training at no cost without them experiencing a loss of employment.

Key Funding Elements of My Plan

  • Funding will be achieved through a variety of channels. I will touch base on some of them here so that you can see the significance that my plan offers to Alabama's future, and the positive impact it can have on the lives of each and every citizen in the state.
  • According to the EPA about 90% of the recyclables waste that we throw out ends up in a landfill. That means we only recycle 10% of our recyclable waste, and 2015 report done by the Southeast Recycling Development Council found the recycling industry is an economic engine for Alabama. In these reports we find that currently the recycling industry is one of Alabama's largest, and quickest growing industries, which has had 32,400 industry jobs already created. An additional 84,412 jobs have spun off because of the increase in spending by those employed in the recycling industry. This generated a total of 19.4 billion annually. These reports also show that the estimated 711,436 tons of recyclables that were thrown away in 2015 could represent an estimated 1,200 new jobs in the recycling industry, and would create an additional 1,920 state jobs. So since my plan calls for increasing the number of recycling facilities in our state to five within my first year, which also includes facilities that focus on clean renewable energy solutions, and with each of those facilities being able to create an additional 1,200 new jobs with at least 5 more within my second year, my plan would generate an estimated total of 12,000 new jobs in the recycling and clean energy industry within one to two years. That is an estimated grand total of 9.5 billion annually in additional revenue to help fund the infrastructure, help reduce poverty, hep fund our education system, help fund healthcare for all, and more. This is by far the most aggressive and comprehensive approach to economic growth, and is equally as effective.
  • The clean renewable energy industry provides an excellent opportunity for Alabama, both economically and environmentally. With our state having so much open undeveloped land it would be ludicrous for us not to capitalize on non-destructive ways to generate income for our state, to provide jobs for our citizens, to clean up our environment and to solve a variety of problems we face. According to the EPA about 90% of the recyclables waste that we throw out ends up in a landfill. That means we only y recycle 10% of our recyclable waste. By implementing a statewide recycling program as part of the economic redevelopment plan, poverty reduction plan, infrastructure plan, etc. we alleviate the possibility of revenue loss in the event of a slump in consumer buying and selling patterns. For instance: with just a lottery plan our state's revenue stream would be dependent on the likelihood that the citizens, even if from out of state, continued to purchase the lottery tickets at predetermined "target amount". If for reason the citizens, from our state or others, were to change their purchasing habits when it comes to lottery tickets, and that change is a decrease in the "target amount" of sales, then the state would easily suffer a possible budget shortfall. However with my plan, although I am not opposed to a lottery as one of many solutions to be included into our overall economic plan, the state is not exclusively dependent on variable recreational spending as a primary source of revenue. Simply put the stuff we depend on most in life to survive, and that we buy more often than recreational spending, which is what people use and throw away, will ultimately take precedence over most people’s recreational spending habits. While it is true that this number may not be immediately identifiable through per-studies or research, given the consequences that the past economic recession had on the citizens and business, we cannot afford to hang all of Alabama's hopes on a single idea that depends on variable spending habits. Our greatest source of revenue will be in the ability for us to save in material costs with re-purposed recyclables, and through a statewide recycling program.
  • In order to save on the initial infrastructure costs that come along with the task of setting up recycling facilities in the state I am proposing that we work with areas in the state, where jobs are needed the most, to refurbish abandoned and vacant warehouses and other industrial facilities or industrial parks to house the recycling facilities. Dothan, Selma, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, Mobile and Gadsden are just six of the primary locations that I plan on locating a fully functioning recycling facility within the first year. Each area will also have satellite offices that are located near the facilities to provide state employees and facility employees with a workable base station to coordinate logistics. Along with that most areas will also have distribution and receiving facilities setup for the re-purposed recyclables to be dispatched around the state as needed, and for incoming sorting of materials meant to be re-purposed.
  • By eliminating the excessive and wasteful spending in our state we can significantly decrease the amount of funding the state needs for various programs as we free up those funds to be used for projects that are important to Alabama’s economic success. This will be accomplished by conducting a detailed and thorough audit of each level of government, where the department receives any state funding or assistance, to ensure that their budgets are in line with their department spending needs.
  • The primary funding for infrastructure redevelopment, and the repair of roads and bridges, comes from our gasoline tax which is about 10 cents per gallon less than the national average. Alabama’s neighboring states have a higher rate than that of Alabama. On top of that we see the fuel economy of vehicles increasing with construction costs also increasing. These factors cause a reduction in the amount of funding for infrastructure in our state. By looking at these disturbing statistics it is evident that we have to do something immediately. By implementing statewide recycling facilities, with some of them specifically specializing in the repurposing of plastics and other materials to be used for construction and infrastructure projects, we can greatly decrease the amount of funding needed for much of the state’s infrastructure needs while generating additional revenue for state programs and infrastructure development.