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Reorganized Christian Coalition of Alabama expands its agenda

MONTGOMERY (AP) — The reorganized Christian Coalition of Alabama is broadening its agenda to include environmental issues and putting together a paid staff to promote membership and lobby the Legislature.

On Thursday, Christian Coalition Chairman Randy Brinson played host to Andy Brack, president of the Center for a Better South, on his multistate tour to promote a book about environmental issues in the South.

Brinson said the Christian Coalition of Alabama is trying to encourage discussion on a wider variety of issues affecting the quality of life and empowerment of Alabamians.

“We’re here to support discussion and find a middle ground,” he said.

For years, the Christian Coalition of Alabama focused on issues such as restricting gambling, limiting abortions and holding down taxes. But its longtime state leaders fell out with the national organization’s leadership last year and formed a new organization, Christian Action Alabama.

Brinson, a Montgomery physician who had led Redeem the Vote drives to register young Christian voters, got appointed as the new state leader and began rebuilding the coalition.

Brinson said contributions from lawyers and business people, whom he declined to name, have made it possible for the organization to hire a full-time field director, Joseph Hollis, and part-time communications director, Eric Guttensohn. Brinson said Hollis will visit churches across the state to promote membership and will lobby the Legislature.

Brack and Democratic state Sen. Phil Leventis of Sumter, S.C., are touring the South to promote “Getting Greener,” a book about what the region can do to save energy and protect the environment.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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