Harrison appointed State Co-Chair of ARAC

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 26, 2007

Special to The Journal

Governor Bob Riley has appointed State Banking Superintendent John Harrison and Margaret Bentley of Alabama Power Company as State Co-Chairs of the Alabama Rural Action Commission. Harrison is a former mayor of Luverne in Crenshaw County.

Bentley is an area manager for Alabama Power and also a co-chair of the Black Belt Action Commission.

Governor Riley met with members of the Alabama Rural Action Commission (ARAC) at the State Capitol to discuss the group's plans for improving the quality of life in Alabama's rural communities.

Governor Riley urged commission members to follow the example set by the Black Belt Action Commission, which he created in 2004.

The Black Belt Action Commission brought together 800 volunteers who work to improve the 12-county region's educational, health care and living standards.

&#8220The ‘action commission' model is a proven success in the Black Belt.

Now we will replicate this model statewide and bring more progress to Alabama's rural communities,” said Governor Riley.

&#8220And just like the Black Belt Action Commission, the Rural Action Commission is open to every citizen who wants to help.”

The Rural Action Commission will begin by focusing on measurably improving health care, education, economic development and workforce development in rural areas.

Former State Senator Gerald Dial of Lineville serves as the commission's executive director.

The commission has divided the state into eight regions, with certain commission members responsible for improvement efforts in each.