Russell County residents form New South chapter

Former Russell County Commissioner Ronnie Reed announced Tuesday the formation of a Russell County chapter of the Alabama New South Coalition, a largely minority issue oriented group.

The New South Coalition was founded more than 20 years ago in Birmingham, with former Mayor Richard Arrington as one of its founders and first president. The local group chapter was formed on March 29. Its officers are Reed, president; M.L. Harris, vice-president; Stanley Harris, treasurer; and Valerie Carter, secretary.

"I hear there's been a number of attempts to form a New South chapter here," said Reed. "Now its here. We want to promote quality of life in Russel County, promote more than a political organization. We want to help people enjoy a better life."

The New South Coalition over the years have been pitted against the mostly black Alabama Democratic Conference for the major influence in state Democratic circles. It appears it will be no different locally.

"We already have more people showing interest than the (Russell County) ADC," said Reed.

The Russell County New South Coalition will endorse candidates in May for county and municipal offices after holding interviews on May 5. "We're going to invite all the candidates for office listen, to what they say, and decide who to back," said Reed, who is a candidate for the Russell County Commission District 4 seat he was ousted from about two years ago.

He plans to step aside during the endorsements, with chapter vice-president M.L. Harris taking over during the endorsement process.