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Bracy Jr. in AL-2 race: ‘for the people that have been left behind’

Name: Napoleon Bracy Jr.
Party: Democrat
City of residence: Mobile
Age: 43
Occupation: Manager of Diversity, Inclusion & Affirmative Action at Austal USA, a ship manufacturer and and U.S. Military defense contractor.
Previous elected offices or applicable experience: Two terms on the Prichard City Council, and nearly four terms in the Alabama Legislature.
Education: Bachelor’s and law degree from University of Alabama
Why should district residents vote for you on March 5: “I served six years on the city council, and I’m on my fourth term in the Legislature, and that created an opportunity for me to see the things that we need. Now, I have an opportunity to go to D.C. and make a difference for the people that have been left behind, the people in the community where I grew up, the people in the community where my parents are from that’s within this district. I think we have to do our part to make sure that we have fair representation across the board.”

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Napoleon Bracy Jr.  has had a long career in public service, having been elected to represent Alabama House District 98 in Mobile in 2010 at the age of 30.

Now, Bracy says he wants to expand his reach to the entirety of the state’s new Second Congressional District, and highlighted three topics he said were of particular importance to him; health care, education and workforce development.

“District 2 is mostly a rural district, and we’ve seen the quality of life start to go down with the closures of many of the rural hospitals due to the fact that in Alabama, we didn’t expand Medicaid,” he said. 

“So I would try to do my part to make sure that we have access to Medicaid dollars, try to push for the expansion of Medicaid in the state, and also try to push hard to support the CHIPS program – the child health insurance program – to make sure our kids have quality health insurance.”

Bracy, who’s supported Medicaid expansion on the state level for years, said if elected, he would also be supportive of expanding Medicaid on the federal level, and would also be supportive of instituting a form of universal health care, similar to proposals from Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, among others.

On education, Bracy said he would push for student loan debt relief, as well as the expansion of cost-free higher education.

“Education is, a lot of times, one of the only avenues that poor communities have to change the lives of them and their families, and I think that we must continue to support things like the dual enrollment program that we have in our community colleges and our four-year institutions that allow our high school students to gain college credit while they’re in high school for free,” he said. 

“I think we should (also) provide opportunities for our students to attend community college for free, because those colleges are based in those communities; they understand the needs of the particular communities where they’re located, and a lot of times, they are connected to the business industry in those areas.”

Bracy segued his comments about expanding dual enrollment programs into his third topic of interest, workforce development, which he said was desperately needed in Alabama’s rural communities.

“For my day job, I work in workforce development, (and) it’s given me a real insight on how a lot of workforce development programs could work in the community, and I think that they could work out a lot throughout this district,” he said. 

“From the COVID-19 (pandemic), we saw a big gap that came in the workforce where people are in need of workers really bad, and we also know that the baby boomers are getting ready to retire, and with them retiring, that’s just going to make that gap even wider. So we have to ask ourselves where we are going to get these employees from? I believe we’re going to get them from our students.”

Bracy said that as a member of Congress, he would push for workforce training to be implemented in public schools at a much larger scale than what exists today.

“I think we have to pause, take a good look at our programs, and start implementing programs into our K-12 system – mainly our high schools – that’s going to give these students some of the necessary skills needed,” he said.

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