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pered along the hillsides. This is a scene that is a far cry from where we found ourselves this summer in a historic drought. I’m sure most Arkansans are welcoming the moderate tem- peratures as we currently have the perfect weather to enjoy our beautiful state, fall football or other outdoor activities. Climate dictates most of what we can accomplish when you think about it. This is also very true in politics. The 89th Arkansas General Assembly is fast approaching and for those involved in the Association of Arkansas Coun- ties Legislative Committee, it seems the session has already begun as the AAC legislative package has been in the works for months.


M


The climate of Arkansas politics seems to be following a national trend of more partisanship not partnership. We saw this climate change as recently as last year’s fiscal ses- sion when a couple of party line votes seemed to be just that instead of elected officials communicating frequently and compromising and working together for the better- ment of Arkansas. The citizens of Arkansas deserve the best representation our electorate can provide them and this increasing us- against-them attitude is not the way we can get it done. We have challenges and adversities in front of us like never


before and the solution lies in understanding a concept called “collective impact.”


Collective impact


y home is Johnson County and it is nestled in the foothills of the Ozark National Forest. The changing of the seasons is evident in the cascading leaves and the vibrant colors pep-


We can have a much grander impact acting as one entity than we can ever have acting as individuals. Our Arkansas Capitol network and potential success rests in our ability to communicate, identify our re- sources and common strengths and challenges. All parties deserve a seat at the table, but votes and decisions should not already be made before the conversation takes place. That climate will be our downfall if we allow it to manifest. Our state has fared well when compared to most of our peers, but the next true test, the true challenge lies ahead in the 89th Session. Instead of walking away from the middle on certain issues at the onset, we all need to make sure that our first action is to face one another and have the conversation. Te conversation that is at the heart of the greatest political system known to man. Te conversa- tion that Arkansans deserve and our system is built on. We should respect our democracy, and not trod upon it. If partnership should prevail, we can collectively make the impact our citizens deserve.


President’s Perspective


Hon. Mike Jacobs AAC Board President; Johnson County Judge


Te Honorable Mike Jacobs Johnson County Judge / AAC Board President ARKANSAS STATE CAPITOLSNAPSHOTS


“If we have honestly acknowledged our painful but shared past, then we can have reconciliation.”


— Elizabeth Eckford, Little Rock Nine member


The Little Rock Nine Monu- ment on the north mall of the State Capitol was dedicated in August 2005. It was created by artists John and Cathy Deering as a testament to the courage of nine African American students who enrolled in Central High School in 1957. This event was the beginning of the desegrega- tion of Little Rock public schools and a critical event in America’s civil rights movement.


Every County Lines edition fea- tures a monument or testament from the State Capitol grounds. For more information on your State Capitol go to: www.sos.arkansas.gov.


(AAC Photo / Scott Perkins) COUNTY LINES, FALL 2012 9


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