Alabama New South Coalition’s 3rd Congressional District will meet in Talladega on Oct. 19 (column)

Rev. Hugh Morris

The Rev. Hugh Morris

TALLADEGA -- The Alabama New South Coalition's annual Spring Membership Convention was held in Montgomery on Saturday, June 1. 

New board members and officers were elected. I was elected chairman of the 3rd Congressional District.

Our second meeting will be Saturday, Oct. 19, at New Hope United Methodist Church from 10 a.m. - noon at 618 Knox St. This district consists of 14 counties: Talladega, Calhoun, Coosa, Clay, Cleburne, Lowndes, Elmore, Autauga, Macon, Tallapoosa, Randolph, Chambers, Lee and Russell. 

My goal is to make this district more productive and strengthen our membership. I realize there are a lot of people who don't know what the ANSC is. 

The Alabama New South Coalition (ANSC) was officially founded on Jan. 25, 1986, in Birmingham. Residents came from across Alabama to its organizing convention and voted unanimously to establish the organization. 

As it was envisioned, the organization would hold no ties to any particular political party and would be open to persons of all races with a vision for a “New South.” 

Richard Arrington Jr., the first African-American mayor of Birmingham, was elected the organization’s first president, and J.L. Chestnut, attorney for Martin Luther King during the Selma Civil Rights Campaign and Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March, was elected the first chairman of the board of directors.  

Dr. Carol P. Zippert, of Greene County, was elected the first ANSC state treasurer, and Virginia Volker, of Birmingham, was elected as ANSC’s first state secretary.

The two most active leaders in creating ANSC willingly took supporting offices. 

State Sen. Hank Sanders, of Selma, formerly the chair of Alabama’s $4 billion Education Trust Fund budget, became chair of the 7th Congressional District, and state Sen. Michael Figures, of Mobile, Alabama’s first president pro tem of the Senate and highest ever African-American elected state official, became first vice president of ANSC. 

A central office was opened on historic Dexter Avenue in Montgomery. Shortly, thereafter, official chapters were established in 40 counties.  

On May 9-10, 1986, the first ANSC endorsement convention was held in Mobile. The Rev. Jesse Jackson delivered the first-ever keynote convention address. ANSC became and has remained a major force in Alabama politics and all fields of human endeavor, with the unifying goal of its members being to “making a change for the better in our lifetime.”

All Talladega County ANSC members are invited to attend as well as all interested parties. Please come out and help us to get this district back to where it is supposed to be. I’m looking forward to seeing you there.

The Rev. Hugh Morris is president of the Talladega County chapter of the NAACP.