Yolanda Flowers is the primary to say she’s not like the remainder of Alabama’s gubernatorial candidates.
“I’m different,” Flowers mentioned throughout Thursday night time’s Democratic runoff debate. “I come with the perspective – and I make no slight of it – my campaign is based on the word of God.”
The Birmingham native is going through off in opposition to Sen. Malika Sanders Fortier of Selma in the runoff to grow to be the state’s Democratic candidate for governor June 21. The winner will face Republican Gov. Kay Ivey in November.
Flowers has been backed by Democrats for Life, a nationwide group that seeks “defend universal human rights” by opposing points like abortion, assisted suicide and the demise penalty. In an interview, Flowers mentioned she hopes to offer counseling for moms who’re contemplating abortion and to determine extra sources for individuals who carry infants to time period however don’t wish to elevate them. She mentioned she doesn’t consider that abortion must be unlawful.
If somebody is pregnant, receives counseling and nonetheless decides they wish to terminate a being pregnant, Flowers mentioned that “we can’t abuse our authority,” and that the state ought to go away the choice as much as the person.
“We don’t need to ban abortion, but abortions need to be done safely,” Flowers mentioned. “I’m not trying to sway them, I’m not trying to change their minds, but just giving them information and informed choices so that they can make a real choice.”
In 2019, the state to ban abortions in any respect phases of being pregnant besides to guard ladies from severe well being dangers. A federal choose blocked the regulation, but it surely may very well be in place take impact if Supreme Court justices overturn Roe v. Wade in a case involving a Mississippi regulation. A Supreme Court determination is anticipated on the finish of the month.
Flowers additionally mentioned she helps the rights of gun house owners, however believes that the state ought to implement extra stringent legal guidelines about buying and utilization.
“Don’t you know that we can have gun laws that allow folks to keep their guns and keep Alabamians safe?” Flowers requested in her digital felony justice city corridor assembly. “I’m asking you just to call me not “this or that,” however to name me an “and” candidate.”
Flowers additionally mentioned she needs to boost Alabama’s authorized age for gun house owners from 18 years outdated to 21.
“For a child: 18 years old – that is too much power, so we need to do something better,” she mentioned throughout Thursday’s debate.
Flowers mentioned that she needs psychological evaluations for individuals who wish to buy weapons in the state, in addition to coaching for pawn brokers and different gun salespeople.
Flowers’ suggestion to extend the authorized buying age comes in the midst of a years-long nationwide dialog about alternative ways to handle gun violence.
While the June 16 debate was airing, a gunman entered a potluck dinner at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Vestavia Hills, injuring and killing three Alabama residents.
This spring, the state legislator additionally continued efforts to take away some laws on gun house owners, ending a allow requirement for hid carry.
Flowers, who lately misplaced her husband Curtis Flowers, is a mom of three. She has 12 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
She was born in Birmingham in 1961 and educated in the Birmingham public college system earlier than transferring to Tennessee to attend school. After three many years, Flowers is again in what she calls “my dear Alabama.”
She mentioned her grandson inspired her to run for governor after declaring the state’s lack of Black leaders.
Her web site particulars 4 most important focuses: Education, well being care, felony justice and the economic system. Flowers lists every focus as “reconstruction.”
“God has given me a vision of what he saw in Alabama,” she mentioned throughout the debate.
Flowers’ marketing campaign intersects with many essential and polarized moments in Alabama’s historical past: Bans on transgender remedy of minors, the opportunity of near-total limits on abortion, sharp debates on gun management and training struggles.
As an educator herself, Flowers has been keen to discuss her proposed reconstruction of the training system. She acquired her grasp’s diploma in rehabilitation counseling from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville after acquiring a bachelor of arts diploma in audiology. She labored in the training system in Tennessee for many years earlier than transferring again to Alabama, the place she was a substitute trainer in Birmingham metropolis faculties for three years.
She referred to as her proposed training reform plan LIFE – or “learning is forever evolving.”
In a digital city corridor assembly May 3, Flowers mentioned she would love extra assist for kids’s psychological and behavioral well being, similar to elevated screenings.
One of Flowers’ plans for felony justice reform is the creation of what she calls her “justice league” staff. In efforts to maintain the state’s parole board accountable, Flowers mentioned she’s going to assemble a bunch of legal professionals, regulation college students, researchers and a choose.
In an interview, she mentioned the group would sit in on parole hearings and meet with officers beforehand. The staff would additionally hold watch on jail operations and set up an accountability database. She mentioned there can be a number of teams positioned all through the state.
Flowers mentioned that she needs every legislator to stroll by way of each jail in the state.
When it involves well being care, Flowers wrote on her web site that she plans to broaden Medicaid protection for extra older adults in the state, in addition to staff who can not afford well being protection. Alabama is amongst 12 states that haven’t expanded Medicaid.
In her first digital city corridor assembly April 26, Flowers spoke of her reconstructed well being plan and mentioned she hopes the state’s legislators “will help uninsured people and those people who are poor, the poor working class citizens and the small businesses to be able to obtain health care, premium health care, this healthcare that all of us deserve.”
Flowers additionally hopes to implement the lottery in Alabama.
She cites the affect of the lottery on her training, well being care and financial reconstruction pages, saying that it will assist present income to enhance infrastructure, assist lecturers and faculties and make prescribed drugs extra inexpensive.
“We are surrounded by gambling states, and they are thriving and we are not,” Flowers mentioned in an interview.
Flowers’ extra financial priorities embrace elevating minimal wage in the state to $15 an hour, increasing broadband protection, supporting small companies and hiring extra law enforcement officials, based on her web site.