This letter to the editor appeared in yesterdays Valley-Times News.
Candidate who can create jobs in Alabama
To the Editor:
Good news! We have a candidate for Alabama Senate District 13 who has very specific and practical job creation proposals. After meeting and hearing Greg Varner, I know that he will help the currently non-working people of Alabama once again have jobs. And, through building a “world class” educational system, he will help create an economy and environment in Alabama where our children and their children will want to live. Despite the letter to the editor in last week’s paper declaring “officials can’t create any jobs,” the truth is that state government policies and regulations can indeed make a difference.
Greg Varner is the new voice in this state so desperately in need of new
leadership Varner especially focuses on ways to strengthen our local economies, keeping money working for us rather than flowing out of the community and the state.
One of his key proposals is to require public schools, prisons and public hospitals to buy a percentage of their food from local farms. This would greatly
expand the market for local farmers and provide incentive for more people to
take up (or return to) farming. Thus we would see greater farm-related employment and expanding sales of locally-produced goods at farmers’ markets, retail stores and even restaurants. How big a difference could that
Varner, who studied economics as a student at Georgia Tech, points out “If someone spends $100 at a local independent business, about $68 stays
in the area. If spending at a chain store, only $43 of that $100 stays in the local
economy.” He cites a Georgia study showing that every five-percent increase in local produce purchased would create 345 additional jobs. Creating a stronger
local food system also has strong health (recall the recent egg recalls) and food
security benefits. Just as we don’t want to be dependent on foreign oil, we
don’t want to depend on our food coming from afar.
Stressing the need to support not only small farmers but small businesses
generally, Varner says, “Let’s not limit this principle to agriculture, the same
applies to other sectors of our economy. We must close these leaks from our local economies. These leaks are as dangerous to our communities as a parasite is to our bodies; it saps our communities of [their] vigor and vitality. Whether we’re talking office supplies, clothing, in fact, most of what we consume, a local business policy makes sense.”
Accordingly, while acknowledging the value of attracting industry, Varner
would add emphasis to support for local small businesses in all state government
activities. I could go on and on about the wise and practical ways Greg Varner proposes to help our state — and state of affairs. And about his outstanding qualifications, testimony to his integrity and energy, his wonderful family, etc.
Please see for yourself at govarner.com.
Judy Collins, Fredonia