September 5, 2017

Battle Blog: Inspiring pride and building a stronger Alabama


Last week I was in Birmingham and joined Scott Beason on his radio show. Scott is a former Alabama state senator and we were having a good conversation.

At one point, he got off on a tangent about something and I finally had to say, “Scott, put the shovel down. You’re just digging yourself a deeper hole.” Usually, it’s the other way around, with the radio host trying to help the politician dig himself a deeper hole!

We covered the gamut in our conversation, and it was a good introduction to his listeners about who Tommy Battle is, where he came from, things like that.

One topic that came up is something we talked in my message to you last week, which is the image of our state. We talked about bringing respect back to the state government.

The bottom line is, we need to build a stronger Alabama for all of Alabama, and one that inspires pride in our residents.

We need to create a new image. People in other states have a misconception about Alabama. We need to remind them that UAB is at the forefront of cancer research. We need to talk about HudsonAlpha in Huntsville as a pioneer in medical genomic research. We need to communicate more about the high-tech jobs and our young entrepreneurs who are leading the way nationally in everything from software design to craft beer.

We hear this classic line so often as industry leaders come to visit- “I had no idea…”

We as a state have to rebrand ourselves to reach more of those “I had no idea” people.

Along with our media appearances, we’ve had some fun events where we get to meet and talk with supporters. Many thanks to our financial team on the campaign and to those who have contributed. We’re already on the cusp of $1 million in our coffers, and that success shows not only the support of the North Alabama community but also from across the state. We’ll use those funds to continue to spread our message all over Alabama.

Over the weekend, I went to Troy and Alexander City on Saturday – Sunday we were at the Church in the Pines at Lake Martin. I always miss it when we can’t be at our own church, Trinity United Methodist, where I teach Sunday school every now and again. But Jeremiah Castille, the former Alabama defensive back, gave a great sermon about commitment and conviction, and how that can be turned into faith.

I guess I can put a little political spin on that. I have a lot of faith in the people in Alabama, and in our state’s future as we reshape our image. I hope you have that same sort of faith and will join with me in the fight.

All the best,


P.S. – In case you missed the email last week, remember our ‘College Colors’ stickers are available at this link.