State Senator Fortier seeking Deputy Senators for Lowndes County
By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
Newly elected District 23 State Senator Malika Sanders Fortier is looking for deputy senators for Lowndes County.
The Deputy Senator Program started by Fortier is an initiative to get residents from the eight counties she represents involved.
District 23 includes Dallas, Wilcox, Lowndes, Marengo, Perry, Butler, Conecuh and Monroe counties.
Fortier explained “We have about 50 deputy senators signed up from all the different counties with the majority being from Dallas.” However, she said, to date, she has received only one application and there are eight slots available for Lowndes County.
Fortier said the original deadline for applications was Feb. 18, which has passed. “However,” she said, “it is flexible and we will keep the slots open.” And, she said,”Yes, we are still taking applications after the (deputy senator) swearing in,” which will be held on the capital steps on March 4th.
Fortier said, “It is important to us that Lowndes not get left out of the loop as a lot of my focus will be shaped by those living and working on the ground in each county. That is why we are doing this.”
We need more from the other counties.” She said, “With Dallas representing 40 percent of the Districts population it’s understandable that so many deputy senators would hail from Dallas, However, we can’t stop until we have better representation from Lowndes County.”
Fortier replaces her father, Hank Sanders, in the State Senate after his 35 years of service.
According to Fortier, “The mission of the Deputy Senator Program is “ To help citizens take individual and collective responsibility for the improvement of our community through legislative and community building processes that lead to the building of the Enlightened Beloved Community. “
She said the goals are:
- “To create spaces where citizens can inform one another about the issues of the community. To create spaces for Citizens to be a part of a visioning process and set a community agenda based on research and information.
- “To create contexts where citizens ask elected officials to specifically work for the needs of their community based on information and vision.
- “To develop community-based systems where citizens keep elected officials accountable to the community agenda and the vision of building the Enlightened Beloved Community.”
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