Our Thanks

Nancy, our children, and I thank the residents of State House District 46 from the bottom of our hearts for the vote of confidence you provided me in Tuesday’s general election. 

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Our army of campaign volunteers worked hard on our behalf when they could have devoted their time to more enjoyable pursuits than knocking on doors, standing at polls, and all of the other tasks that a race like ours demands. Those who donated their time, donations, and efforts will always have our deepest gratitude.

We ran a clean, issues-driven campaign, without any of the negativity so often seen in politics. If more campaigns were conducted on a higher plateau, I believe we would see more citizens offering themselves for elected office.

My focus in this new term will remain on the areas I promised - education, ethics, and economic development - and I will endeavor to provide you with the same honest, responsive, and hardworking public service that I have worked to give you over the past four years.

David

STATE REP. DAVID FAULKNER TO DIRECT $15,000 IN COMMUNITY GRANTS TO HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE PROJECT 

State Rep. David Faulkner (R - Mountain Brook) on Tuesday announced he will direct a $15,000 community grant to the Hollywood Boulevard pedestrian bridge project that will connect Homewood and Mountain Brook above Highway 280 and within Birmingham city limits. 

Faulkner has been actively involved in the bridge project since 2016 and has worked closely with the Homewood and Mountain Brook city councils to secure state approval and funding sources. 

(Left to Right) Mountain Brook Mayor Stewart Welch, III, Birmingham City Councilor Valerie A. Abbott, Homewood City Councilor Jennifer Andress, State Representative David Faulkner and Mountain Brook City Councilor Virginia Caruthers Smith.

(Left to Right) Mountain Brook Mayor Stewart Welch, III, Birmingham City Councilor Valerie A. Abbott, Homewood City Councilor Jennifer Andress, State Representative David Faulkner and Mountain Brook City Councilor Virginia Caruthers Smith.

“This project is a textbook example of regional cooperation as the city, county, and state have combined efforts to increase pedestrian safety and improve the quality of life,” Faulkner said. “Hundreds of pedestrians, runners, and cyclists travel this busy and dangerous route each week, and the completed pedestrian bridge will help ensure their protection, security, and well-being in the future. I am proud of the work we have done to create this solution and am honored to help provide a portion of the funds necessary to make it a reality.” 

Homewood City Councilor Peter Wright praised the effort and attention Faulkner has devoted to the project and said construction of the bridge is becoming possible only because of his direct involvement. 

“The maze of jurisdictions involved in this project initially proved troublesome, but Rep. Faulkner stepped in and formed a true coalition of governments,” Wright said. “With Rep. Faulkner’s leadership, the cities of Homewood, Mountain Brook, and Birmingham, Jefferson County, and the Alabama Department of Transportation have all worked cooperatively toward this single-minded goal.” 

Faulkner, who noted that Homewood City Councilor Jennifer Andress also played a significant role in promoting the project, said funding for the bridge will come from his allocation in the Jefferson County Community Service Fund, which allows legislators from the region to direct financial resources toward local public works projects. Design work on the Hollywood Boulevard pedestrian bridge is expected to begin later this year.

PTOs - What's Being Discussed At Our Local Schools

With the new school year finally set into a groove, it has been PTO meeting season. While they do appreciate the funding that usually accompanies me on these visits, it’s always so encouraging to interact with parents and see how involved and enthusiastic they are, in particular throughout District 46.

It really does start at home, so many thanks to these parents and the parents of all the children in our district. In these meetings, we’ve discussed school funding - and how it’s never been higher than it is right now - and that I’m continuing to push for even more. Pre-K funding continues to go up, and I think that’s important.

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We’ve also discussed school security, which isn’t always a comfortable conversation, but just because it’s uncomfortable doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have it. I’ve shared with these groups that five years ago, the only school that I was ‘buzzed’ into was Bluff Park Elementary. Not a single Homewood or Mountain Brook school required me to buzz in or have my information recorded. Now, five years later, just about every school has or will soon have a multi-layered check-in procedure, and Hoover has been recognized as one of the safest school systems in the country. And I’m proud to say that our efforts to bring SROs to our schools has been successful.

When it comes to where we’ve gotten with our school security and the procedures and personnel we’ve put in place - is this where I want us to be? Of course not - I’m not happy that these are the kinds of things that we have to do now. But, the safety of our children is paramount, and it’s not a simple solution. These are the things that we have to do today to keep our schools secure.

That said, I continue to be encouraged by the involvement of our local PTOs, and their feedback and input helps me to be more connected and be a better representative.

Thankful for the Support of My Community

Earlier this week, our campaign held a function in English Village of Mountain Brook, and it's just such a blessing and humbling experience to have so many come and support my efforts for our State.

Many thanks to Senator Jabo Waggoner and Mountain Brook Mayor Stewart Welch for their attendance and support.

Reflection: Summer Learning Programs

Now that the school year has started back up, I wanted to take a quick second and reflect on an experience from this summer. 

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As education has always been a passion of mine, I had the opportunity to visit a Summer Learning program for children at the old Daniel Payne School. I learned of the program from my close friend Jennifer Gray who works for the Daniel Payne Foundation. The program is for girls and boys in grades 3rd-6th and was started by friend Dr Martin Nalls.

The program is one of the SAIL programs working to equip children with academic and life skills they need to be successful as adults. In just their second year, they had 87 children enrolled!

I am shown here with my tour guides at the school and was so impressed with all the children I met and the program overall. Thank you, Dr Nalls, for your passion to see children educated and thinking outside the box in doing so! Many thanks as well to Jim Wooten for the funding this CAMP program receives from you as part of the Sail program!

Hoover Schools: Amongst Safest in the Nation

Hoover was recently voted the safest school system in Alabama and 5th safest in the nation. My colleagues and I have worked hard to secure additional funds for school security, and the results have shown in the value our SROs (school resource officers) have provided for our children and teachers.

Both (Superintendent) Dr. Murphy and Hoover High School Principal Don Hulin said one of the biggest reasons they’ve maintained their number one safety status is school resource officers.
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Proud to stand with our SROs and secure the funding to have them in every Hoover school!

Proud to stand with our SROs and secure the funding to have them in every Hoover school!

Education - and the safety our children in our school systems - continues to be a driving force for me as your representative. We can never stop improving in this area, and I will continue to make sure we are doing all we can to put our children and teachers in a position to be safe and successful in their mission.

If you'd like to reach out to me about this topic, please reach me at David@DavidFaulknerAL46.com.

Eagle Scout Court of Honor

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It was such an honor to speak at the Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony this past weekend, and even more so to present State of Alabama Certificates of Recognition for new Eagle Scouts Lee Cooper and Beau Johnson.

The skills and work ethic that these two young men possess gives me great confidence in their ability to be positive members of society going forward. Eagle Scouts always seem to be the most resourceful of individuals, no matter where you find them in life!

It was also a very special opportunity for me to honor these two fine young men, especially because o my lifelong friendship with Lee's father, Clark Cooper. Congratulations to them both!

Put It In Drive

March 1st was such a thrill for me personally, as Governor Ivey signed into law the bipartisan "Uber/Lyft" Bill that Senator Singleton and I had been working toward for quite some time. I had the opportunity to meet and talk with several Uber & Lyft drivers from the Montgomery area, and they were all thrilled for the opportunities that ridesharing companies have provided to them. One driver told us all about how she uses the extra money to buy gifts for her grandchildren and to store away a little extra cash for rainy days.

Thanks to all in attendance, and I am so grateful that we could put a bipartisan bill like this together that will benefit so many people in Alabama.

Gone Too Soon

My prayers are with the family of my dear friend Lee Dawkins, who lost her battle with cancer Friday night. I grew up with and went to church with Lee and her family, and she was a strong, smart and beautiful woman, who was a great wife and mother.  I know Lee is in Heaven and free of pain now, and I am grateful to God for that, but I specifically pray for God's Peace to be with her 2 daughters, Carlee and Everett, and her husband Bill. Her funeral and celebration of her life is tomorrow at 3.

My friend and colleague in the AL House, Rep Allen Treadaway, lost his daughter, Kelsey, age 31, when she was killed after being struck in the rear of her car by a drunk driver Saturday night in a tragic accident. Kelsey was a teacher and volleyball coach. My heart goes out to my friend and colleague Allen Treadaway and his wife Susan, and all their family. Allen's father was also killed by a drunk driver many years ago, which compounds this tragedy for the family. May God's Peace be with Allen, Susan and all their family. 

David

The Law Does What We Need It To

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You may have seen in the news that there's been a challenge to the law regarding (what I would deem inappropriate) teacher/student relationships. There's one trial judge who has held the law unconstitutional, and an appeal has now been taken by a former teacher who was found guilty of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student and is now in prison as a result.

The article from ABC 33/40 reporter Lauren Walsh does a pretty good job of summarizing the situation - and how the law is currently in the hands of the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals - you can read it here.

I DO understand the position the judge and attorney are taking on this. I don't agree with them, but as an attorney, I understand the argument made saying teachers should not be singled out.

BUT - we simply cannot allow nor tolerate teachers having inappropriate sexual relationships with students, even if consensual. A line should - and has to be - drawn in our high schools, and parents need to have the assurance their kids will be protected. Such relationships will not be allowed, and teachers who engage in such relationships with students will be prosecuted. So, as I was quoted in the article, while I understand the constitutionality argument, the priority is keeping our children from being taken advantage of in these kinds of situations.

I want the current law to be upheld - I think the law does what we need it to do. However, if the law is held to be unconstitutional, then we'll just have to work on adjusting another area of the law and our school policies here in Alabama to achieve the same result, or even better protection for our students.

And It Has Passed. #Ride4AL

So thrilled that our bill passed Tuesday! The linked article details more of the details, but I again want to thank so many of my colleagues in the government, the organizations throughout the state that supported this bill, and my constituents. This bill provides a great option for citizens' economic opportunities as well as providing safe transport for citizens who need it for a variety of uses. This is another step in moving Alabama forward!

Uber Lyft Bill Passes!

"The Uber/Lyft Bill"

At long last, the “Uber/Lyft Bill” for Alabama is set to pass, and I’m looking forward to the economic opportunities for Alabama citizens, as well as providing additional transportation options for our citizens.

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I’ve been a big believer in statewide uniformity on this issue, as I believe that it helps Alabama keep with the times as an attractive option for people and companies to visit (as a convenience piece) and potentially establish new businesses/operations as well. I want Alabama to be progressive on this, as at last count, 44 states have already implemented/passed comprehensive ride sharing legislation.

I want Alabama to be a place that businesses WANT to come to, and if there’s a good opportunity to do something towards that end, I’m for it.

I’m also very proud of my colleagues in the state legislature on the bi-partisan effort this has been. Many thanks to my Democratic colleague Bobby Singleton for his support of this effort in the Senate, and of course the advocacy of Governor Ivey. Many thanks also go to organizations like TechBirmingham, the Birmingham United League, and the Villages of Mountain Brook for their support.

Ride Sharing Announcement Today

Today at 11am, I am doing a press conference on the front steps of the State House to announce and support the Ride Sharing Bill I have again introduced, and I will be joined by Governor Ivey and Senator Bobby Singleton.

This Bill is about jobs and affordable transportation options for ALL of Alabama. Passing this Bill would make Alabama the 45th state to implement a statewide uniform network, and I am confident we will get it passed this year.

Update/addition: Yellowhammer News article on the Ride Share Bill.

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