The City of Talladega and our larger community again find ourselves at a crossroad. We have tried to propel ourselves forward by putting together an expensive rebranding campaign, electing new council members, a new school board and changing the city manager and getting a new school superintendent, but things still feel the same.

Our elected leaders are the face of our community and, upon examination, we are not satisfied with how we look right now. We can make a decision to move forward if we examine the history of Talladega and understand what made it possible for us to be the home of the Alabama School for the Blind, Alabama School for the Deaf, Talladega College, the Presbyterian Home for Children, the Ritz Theater, Talladega Superspeedway, and so much more. Great things happened for Talladega because there were people who had a vision and worked for things bigger than themselves with a focus on the children, education and the future. The challenge for us now is to understand that the torch has been passed to us to serve this present age. What we do will be judged, not by what we say, but by decisions we make and the impact of these decisions on the kind of city and community we leave for our children.
Talladega has had a rich cultural and artistic history. We still do a great job putting together events that are impressive and welcoming to visitors, but for those of us who have chosen to make Talladega our home, we see the potential for this to be a good place to live. The change we seek depends on us accepting our responsibility to elect and empower qualified, capable leaders who are strong enough to walk in faith, not in fear, and do what is best for all the people.

Juanita Curry McClellan