Davis points to D.C. victories in bid for re-election

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 8, 2004

“We don’t have to make promises in this campaign,” said Congressman Artur Davis. “We can to talk about the accomplishments we’ve had. I think the voters understand that getting things done to the degree that we want is a sustained effort over a period of time.

“You don’t have the capacity to make miracles unless you’re God, but you do have the capacity to lay a foundation to get things done.”

Davis officially announced his bid for reelection for a second term in the Seventh District Saturday at a rally in Selma’s Bloch Park.

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Voters have a basic question, he said. “Do you matter in Washington, D.C. or don’t you? Do you matter in your district? I feel by any standards that you can possibly identify we have used this office very effectively.”

Davis said he has built relationships with the private sector in the district. The “Initiative 7” project, which works with local businesses and local development projects “is groundbreaking, revolutionary work in my opinion.” The premise, he said, is to grow the Black Belt not just by going out and getting industries but “by developing and making stronger the industries and products that are within the district.”

He pointed to two legislative victories in his first year in Congress. He was the lead sponsor to restore funds unfairly cut from black colleges such as Alabama A&M and Tuskegee University.

He also sponsored the “American Dream” Down Payment Assistance Act, setting aside $260 million.

“Not a whole lot of Congressmen over a period of four or five years can point to legislative victories in their first year,” Davis said. “The gentleman I succeeded was in this job for 10 years and didn’t pass a thing.

In addition, “just a few days ago I was named as the lead Democratic sponsor of a bill that will provide relief for our catfish industry, our timber industry and our steel industry.

“That’s an example of the kind of leadership we’re providing,” he said.

“…People always focus on what you cannot do in this job, but you can get things done if you’re tactical and strategic….There’s not a single county in this district in which we can’t point to some tangible benefit that they’ve received in the past year from the appropriation process and the grant process.

“…We’ve got all kind of efforts going on in various counties…to do creative things in terms of agriculture (and) tourism,” the congressman said. “People don’t know about the energy that already exists in the district.

“I’ve been so pleased as I’ve moved around this district…to see all the good things that are happening in the Black Belt.” Although the Black Belt is often seen as a deprived area, Davis said positive things can happen if a consensus is built. “We’ve had a record of unifying people and bringing people together.”

Demopolis Councilman Thomas Moore was on hand at the Saturday rally to lend his support to Davis. “Congressman Davis has raised the level of professionalism in our district,” Moore said. “We’re all proud of him.

“…We’re quite impressed with his steadfastness, his knowledge of the issues, and he is willing to take a stand based on conviction – and not expediency.”