Bright visits with college students

Published 12:46 am Tuesday, February 9, 2010

LBW Community College (LBWCC) students learned about federal legislation straight from U.S. Rep. Bobby Bright (D-Montgomery) during his visit to the Andalusia campus yesterday.

Bright, representing Alabama’s Second Congressional District in Washington, D.C., toured the campus before addressing two groups of students, said Renée LeMaire, LBWCC’s public information officer.

“He first met with the Interclub Council, composed of student leaders from each organization on campus, before addressing a crowd of about 200 in the Dixon Theater.”

Bright complimented students on their choice to go to college, stating it was a great first step.

“I commend you for taking this step at LBW. I know what you’re experiencing here because I also went to a two-year college in Enterprise before transferring,” Bright said, adding he was the only one in a family of 14 to complete college. “You are getting quality education here. If you want it bad enough, you can do anything.”

LBWCC President Dr. Herbert H.J. Riedel said Bright’s visit was important for students.

“Having Congressman Bright on our campus was meaningful for our students. It gave them an opportunity to meet their elected representative and ask questions. We were very happy to have him here.”

Highest on the minds of students during the visit were the country’s current economic condition, stimulus funding, health care reform, and military expenditures.

“Students expressed their concerns and opinions, and asked probing questions on topics most important to them,” LeMaire said.

Bright’s main message centered on obstacles created by partisan politics, giving examples of health care reform and unemployment bills becoming “hot button, emotional issues.”

“Party politics is not where our priorities should be. There’s too much partisan politics for what’s good for our country.”

Bright said he supports having health care for all Americans, but it must be something affordable.

“We can’t afford such a robust plan, it needs to be scaled back and phased in,” he said. “We need to firm up our economic foundation, then take health care reform in phases.”

He urged students to obtain information from various sources to better understand the real story about federal government.

“Political pundits are not telling you the whole truth. You don’t have Walter Cronkite anymore. You don’t have people giving you the news, they do it for the ratings and money. It’s hurting our country,” he said. “Eighty percent of America wants us to be in the center, working together for the one goal of having a strong country.”