A letter from the candidate, Kirk Hatcher.
According to my birth certificate, I was born only three months after the dedicated people marching for our voting rights—as part of the Civil Rights Movement—arrived in Montgomery (via Selma) to make a “pit stop” on the grounds of the City of Saint Jude.
I was born in Saint Jude Hospital. I am the proud son of a single-parent mother, Dorothy Lee Hatcher, who worked for many years as a skilled and talented tailor. In April of 1991, my mother opened her own tailor shop—Custom Creations. My mother’s work ethic, loving spirit, and consistent active desire to serve others, has absolutely shaped my life and work.
Life on Golden Gate Drive (Brookview-Sheridan Heights community) would prove to be as significant in further shaping my story as life at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, Resurrection Catholic Elementary School, and Saint Jude High School. Each place would pour into me a firm sense of community, thoughtfulness, and pride. Each would also fortify and nurture my budding spirit in the service of others. As a student leader in high school and college, my work was most evident in actively empowering would-be leaders and groups in their attempts to affect the common interest towards a positive outcome for others. In other words, I was content to lead from behind to affect change.
Shortly, upon my return home from college (Morehouse), while working for the State of Alabama Transportation Legal Division, I made the decision to organize a group of successful, established African American men (mostly modeled, at that time, after the 100 Black Men of Atlanta) in the city of Montgomery.
I found that Montgomery was tragically belated in its effort to address ongoing economic inequities clearly prevalent in the African American community. Success Roundtable: 2001, Inc., was conceived with the mission to achieve acceptable degrees of economic parity in the African American community—through leadership roles on local bank boards and executive committees, as well as management appointments. Over a three year period, Success Roundtable: 2001, Inc., had made a significant impact on the economic structures of Montgomery—to include successfully influencing the election of six (6) African Americans to bank board directorships—out of the seven traditional named banks in the area. The work of Success Roundtable: 2001, Inc., would go on to include: Summer Entrepreneurial Training Programs hosted in the College of Business Administration at Alabama State University, African American Male Mentorship Program, Advocacy for African American Automobile Dealers in Ford Motor Company’s Black Dealer Development Program, among other such initiatives.
Soon after completing graduate school, Emory University’s School of Theology, as we approached the year 2000, I decided to try my hand at teaching. I am certain that my years as an educator, which I believe can be considered an important and necessary attribute for political viability, have helped me cultivate a deep respect for persons seeking to use the traditional institutional space to maximize impact and growth opportunities for whole communities.
After more than fifteen years later, I am confident in saying that every classroom encounter with my former students left me more hopeful and determined to forge a better United States of America—a better world. I owe this stream of confidence to my family, friends, community, and my highly cherished former students.
Episodically it appears that in the midst of proverbial darkness there is a chance for light. On June 5th, each of us has a chance to be that light. The issues are clear, and the response to those issues must demonstrate that we value people over everything. There are many valid reasons that far too many people feel underserved, if not downright disenfranchised from the political process and outcomes. Our campaign will bring to center stage concerns about better quality of life jobs, access to affordable healthcare, firm support for the revitalization of our public schools, prison reform, and committed plan to transform opportunity deserts. A forward movement that builds on the legacy of those who, with complete intentionality, sought to disrupt the social ills of our national past has now ushered in a new voice and vision for the good people of House District 78.
WE CAN DO BETTER!
WE WILL DO BETTER!
— Kirk Hatcher