U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell seeking re-election to a third term
Birmingham, AL—With a renewed focus on creating jobs and continuing progress in the 7th Congressional District of Alabama, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell is seeking re-election to a third term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Rep. Sewell, who in 2010 became the first African-American woman elected to Congress in Alabama, said job creation and economic revitalization throughout the 7th District will continue to be major priorities in her third term. Since Sewell took office, unemployment has fallen from 13.9 percent to 9.8 percent in her district. District 7 stretches from Birmingham and western Jefferson County to Tuscaloosa and much of Alabama’s rural Black Belt, including the Selma native’s Dallas County.
“We are not where we want to be, but progress has been made,”
she said. “We will continue to host an annual job fair in the district and work with local employers and our two-year colleges to develop training and apprenticeship opportunities.”
Over 2,000 job seekers and 50 employers attended the Annual Job Fair Sewell held in Selma last year, and a job fair she hosted in Birmingham drew over 5,000 in 2012. The Congresswoman will host another job fair this year in Montgomery.
Sewell said too many people are working harder but just can’t get ahead in today’s tough economy. She supports President Obama’s plan “to build an economy that’s fairer for working people,” with a higher minimum wage, equal pay for women who hold the same job as men, and “making sure the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share in taxes.”
At the job fairs, Sewell saw that many people weren’t prepared to find work. In response, in 2013 she created Project R.E.A.D.Y. (Realizing Everyone’s Ability to Develop Yourself), an initiative being expanded in her third term. It provides resume writing assistance, tips on how to find jobs online, and advice on how to dress for job interviews.
Five workshops attended by more than 525 constituents provided job readiness training in partnership with Lawson State, University of West Alabama, Wallace State Selma, Trenholm and Shelton State Community College.
“With Project READY, we provide our constituents with the information and tools they need to be successful in the job market,” Sewell said.
In 2013, Sewell secured over $635 million in federal grants for the 7th Congressional District and in her tenure, she has helped constituents receive over $4 million in retroactive benefits owed to them by the federal government. She fought for a $10 million TIGER grant for Birmingham, and assisted Alabama’s tornado recovery efforts by securing $512 million in federal disaster assistance since the devastating storm of April 2011.
Sewell sits on the House Financial Services Committee, an important position that allows her to be a voice for both the banking community in Birmingham and constituents seeking consumer protection. She is committed to hosting financial literacy workshops throughout her district.
She also serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Democratic Steering & Policy Committee, and is one of only eight in Congress to serve as Chief Deputy Whip. Those leadership roles ensure that Alabama’s 7th District through Sewell has a voice at the table when important decisions are made.
“President Obama and my fellow Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate know that I will support the Democratic agenda, and stand up for the rights of hard-working Americans,” Sewell said.
Protecting the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to ensure residents of District 7 can get affordable health care will remain a top priority in her third term. In 2013, her office held five workshops that helped over 14,000 constituents get enrollment information on the new healthcare exchanges.
“While no law is perfect, it is imperative that we provide healthcare for the 42 million Americans (including 600,000 Alabamians) who are uninsured,” Sewell said. “Our district is already benefiting from the new law. Almost 30,000 children in the 7th Congressional District now have health insurance and seniors in Alabama saved over $132 million in prescription costs in 2013 alone.”
In her third term, Sewell said she will also tap into her strong relationship with the Congressional Black Caucus and join fellow members in fighting for increased diversity among federal judges. She will also continue to fight against the U.S. Supreme Court decision that gutted major portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in response to a Shelby County court challenge last year.
“I will fight to protect the fundamental right to vote for all vulnerable communities,” she said.
Sewell’s first successful bill in Congress honored the “Four Little Girls” killed in the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church with the highest civilian honor – the Congressional Gold Medal. During the 50th anniversary of the tragedy last year, families of the four victims were presented the medals. She also gained similar Congressional recognition of the Tuskegee Airmen for their role in World War II and the Montford Point Marines, the first blacks to serve in the U.S. Marine Corp. “We must never forget the sacrifices made so that America can live up to its ideals of equality and justice for all,” Sewell said.
For more information of the Sewell re-election campaign, go to www.sewellforcongress.com.