Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) joined this morning’s House Republican Leadership press conference to highlight what he heard from Alabamians while at home. In August, Rep. Byrne went on a Better Off Now tour in his district. This tour included several town halls and meetings with families, workers, small business owners, and local leaders in each community. And for information on how the American people are Better Off Now under Republican policies, visit Better.gop.
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Rep. Byrne’s Remarks:
I’d like to give a quick shout out to the first responders and utility lineman in southwest Alabama who are responding to the aftermath of Tropical Storm Gordon. We took a pretty big hit, but it looks like we’re going to be okay, and I appreciate their efforts.
As Cathy said, I spent my August going all over my district. I held 12 town hall meetings, I visited dozens of businesses, talked to dozens of groups of people, and I called all this the Better Off Now Town Hall Meeting Tour. And it was wonderful.
Literally everywhere I went, there was optimism, there is real progress in local economies that we haven’t seen in years. It was very uplifting.
We are also, in my district, making one of the ships for the United States Navy…very important to building our fleet of 355. We’re going to be christening another one of those ships in two weeks. That shipyard is in full tilt. We have some shipyards in a small town called Bayou La Batre that was affected by the storm. Those shipyards have been in a down spot for years now. They’re coming back to life. They’re back to shipbuilding, back to ship repair.
But I was really struck by what I saw in some of the rural areas of my district….there’s a little town in my district called Brewton. They have a new company there called Provalus that is a high-tech IT business. Now, Brewton is a very rural part of my district. It’s one of those places where I’ve done town halls before, and people would show up and say ‘our little town is dying.’ When I went there this time, Provalus is actually up and going, they have 70 employees — high-tech IT jobs in Brewton, Alabama.
Another town I went to, Monroeville. You all know Monroeville, by the way. That’s where Harper Lee is from. That’s where To Kill A Mockingbird was based. I did my town hall in the old court house there. Before that, I got to go to Sterling Packaging. Sterling Packaging was originally a Canadian company. They moved from Canada to Monroeville, Alabama. They make the cartons you put craft beer in, which is a growing market, and they also make the cartons you put speciality vegetable products in. They’re doing great stuff.
Now, you have communities like Brewton and Monroeville, who I can tell you, even last year, were still struggling. And now, they had this sense of optimism, economic growth, and rising quality of life that they just didn’t have. So from the metro area of my district, Mobile, to these rural areas, people not only are Better Off, they feel that they’re Better Off. They expressed that they’re Better Off.
When I go to my town hall meetings, we talk about what can we do to keep it rolling. And the one message I continue to hear from the people in my district is keep doing what you’re doing and do more of it because it’s making the lives of everybody in this community better.
Our towns are not dying, they’re thriving, and we need to continue to thrive.