Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions may have taken some questionable stances on race in the past, but boiling down his career to those instances is selling him short according to an article published in Salon.
Back in 2001, Sessions helped an impoverished, predominantly black Lowndes County, Alabama, by directing Environmental Protection Agency funds to the area to install new septic tanks.
The area was home to 37 families facing arrest or eviction due to health regulation violations, and the $12,000 cost of installing a new septic system was well beyond the reach of the residents, whose average income is around $20,000 a year.
Lowndes County holds 43 miles of the 54-mile 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, and despite dozens of black leaders marching through the area annually, the area had to turn to Sessions for help.
Sessions also moved to bring jobs to the area by approving $4 million in grants for secondary auto suppliers to set up shop after Hyundai Corp. opened a $1 billion manufacturing plant just 6 miles from the Lowndes County border.
The longtime Senator also hosted a Capitol Hill meeting with corporate and policy representatives that resulted in Microsoft donating more than $65,000 worth of software to install on PCs in computer centers built for the county’s low-income residents.