By Wil Crews
“If elected, I will be a persistent voice for the unheard, regardless of race, age or gender, a promoter of equity for Ward 1 and work for the continued growth of this city,” said George Allen, the newest candidate to announce a run for the Opelika City Council Ward 1 seat.
Allen, a retired, lifelong Opelika resident, said he decided to run after in-depth consultation with his family, former local politicians, business owners, residents of Ward 1 and other concerned citizens.
“I love Opelika, I’ve always done various community services, and this is just another avenue that I could take that I believe could be a help to the people of Opelika,” Allen said.
Allen believes that Opelika is a great place to live. Still, from his years working as a poll worker for elections, Allen has learned that certain citizens’ concerns have gone unaddressed.
If elected, Allen has plans to address some of those concerns, namely the city’s infrastructure and education system.
“One thing that I would like to see is that we would elect members of the board of education… that way I feel they will be more accountable to the people they represent,” Allen added.
Allen has plans for a door-to-door campaign, with the goal hearing the community’s concerns first-hand.
“Of course we will do some social media, but I believe that it is important to meet people,” he added.
In his past, Allen’s work within the community has helped him do just that –– meet people.
“I am a life-long resident of Ward One. I would venture to say over 75% of its residents know me personally through my occupations or my community involvements and will agree that I have the qualities needed to effectively represent them on our City Council,” Allen said.
He’s spent time at the Opelika Parks and Recreation Department, worked with the Lee County Boys and Girls Club during its inception and coached many youth activities.
His commitment to his community did not stop there however; he is currently involved in multiple community undertakings.
Allen is a member and fundraising coordinator of the J.W. Darden Alumni Association –– an organization that specializes in awarding scholarships to deserving high school graduates.
Additionally, Allen is the president of the J.W. Darden Foundation, who’s mission is to perpetuate the legacy of Dr. J.W. Darden (the first African physician in Opelika) through scholarships and free health care provided by the Darden Wellness Center.
Allen also holds memberships for the Lee County Voters League and a reactivation committee for the Lee County Branch of the NAACP. He currently works at the Covington Recreation Center as a recreation assistant. If elected, he plans to continue working there.
Last but not least, Allen is a member of the Ferguson Chapel CME Church, serving as the adult church school teacher and chairman of the trustee board.
With a slogan of “Count on Me,” Allen believes he is indeed the right person to lead Opelika –– and Ward 1 specifically –– forward.
“I see Ward 1’s needs as Opelika’s needs. I cannot envision Opelika’s growth without the mutual growth of Ward 1. However, before we can have mutual growth, we must first make all communities equal. Then and only then, can we concentrate on the continued growth of Opelika,” Allen said.
Allen graduated from J.W. Darden High School in Opelika in 1966. He went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Economics from Alabama State University where he became a member of the Omega Phi Psi Fraternity, Inc. He is the loving husband of Dr. Beatrice C. Allen and the father of three boys Kenneth, Cornelius and Tony.
To donate to Allen’s campaign, please contact Jeanette Peters at 334-745-6578 or Jeanette.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allen is running against Jamie Lowe and Alexis Meniefield and Robert Johnson for the Ward 1 seat being vacated by councilwoman Patsy Jones, who served in her role for the last 25 years.
The Opelika Municipal election is set for Aug. 25.