For Election 2014 there will be two names on the ballot for the Alabama House of Representatives. One will be the current seat holder, Alvin Holmes. The other will be Tijuanna Adetunji. Born in Birmingham and raised in Montgomery, Adetunji is a small business owner providing insurance products. She is active in her church and community through her involvement in outreach ministries. She is also a proponent of entrepreneurial growth through the Small Business Resource Center, where she completed Entrepreneurial University. She was four years old when Alvin Holmes first got elected to office in 1974.
Tijuanna Adetunji is a native Alabamian born in Birmingham (1970) and reared in Montgomery where she currently resides with her husband Fred Adetunji, the Director of Missions and Executive Pastor of Fresh Anointing House of Worship (FAHOW). She has served at FAHOW for over seventeen years. They have four children ages 23, 20, 13 and 12 and one grandchild.
She serves as the volunteer Director of life Outreach at FAHOW, which advocates for the unborn and provides support to their mothers and fathers. An article in World Magazine (2009) called her a compassionate “pro-life activist.” Adetunji has no problem addressing controversial issues, which she addresses in her book, Dear Daughter: How To Choose Your Way To A Better Life (2009).
She is a founding member of the Montgomery County Minority GOP, a member of the Alabama Minority GOP and the Capital City Republican Women. She was recently named the Alabama GOP Rising Star. Adetunji is a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School (1988). She earned a Bachelors of Science degree and is near completing her Masters in Public Policy from Liberty University. Adetunji also graduated from the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University.
She serves on several boards of organizations that promote community service. She is also an Ambassador for the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce and a member of Leadership Montgomery Class Thirty. Adetunji is a Veteran of the United States Army Reserve where she served with the 1207th Medical Unit during Operation Desert Storm at Ft. Benning, GA. She trained in Ft. McClellan, AL and Ft. Sam Houston, Tx.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Adetunji and she shared with us the events
that led to her ultimate decision to run. “You don’t see the fruits of what
they are saying” said Adetunji. She would go to the Statehouse and testify about
pro-life bills and bills to help young women. The bills were voted against or
watered down with little effect. She sees 2014 as an opportunity to bring change
and that it is time for someone new to help the people of the 78th House
District of Alabama. Adetunji is not following tradition and is running as a
Republican which best represents her values. She hopes to get voters to look at her as a person and vote their values to protect marriage, the unborn and promote economic liberation as well as create better options for education.
We asked Adetunji a few questions about her platform and what she plans to do to help District 78:
WHAT POSITIVE CHANGES WILL YOU BRING TO THE 78TH DISTRICT?
First, we need parental choice in education. Many schools haven’t made the grade. Therefore, parents need a choice in where their child should attend school if their zoned school is failing. This will cause the school system to step up. The issue of education should be a combination of parents working with teachers and their children at home in order for the teaching environments outside of home to be conducive for learning.
Secondly, promoting entrepreneurship to young people. The youth in Alabama are very talented. Therefore, we must channel their gifts in positive ways by demonstrating the reward of hard work. Many are technically savvy with computers, cell phones and enjoy science. Others like the outdoors or work well with their hands. We must create opportunities for them to learn and earn while they are young. My 12 and 13-year-old boys enjoy landscaping. They earn money by cutting the lawns of friends and family. My husband and I teach them that things in life are not free. They cost. If not you someone is paying for it.
Third is restoring family and protecting the unborn. Family is the fabric to society. If families are not strong then we have nothing. A good leader sets a good example for others to follow. I published a book Dear Daughter, which is a guide to helping young girls make better lifestyle decisions. The decisions that young girls make can progress or delay their plans for the future. For example, some young girls think that getting rid of an unborn child will make their life better. That is not true if you do not change your behavior. I had my first child at 19. I searched for love in wrong places too. So understand what many of them face. I learned valuable lessons from my experiences and my book allows me to share those experiences to help others.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY DISTINGUISHES YOU FROM YOUR OPPONENT?
My ability to connect with people. My life lessons and experiences. Like the Apostle Paul, I have learned how to be abase and abound. I can relate to all people, regardless of color and socioeconomic background. I am not afraid to interact to help or go across party lines so that I can help those who have no one to speak up for them. I am accessible, real, and open.
WHAT ARE SOME THINGS YOU AGREE WITH IN REGARDS MR ALVIN HOLMES POLITICAL VIEWS? WHAT DO YOU DISAGREE WITH?
I agree with some things about the gun issue. I believe people have the right to bare arms, however, I do think the access to firearms is out of control. Firearms often end up in the wrong hands. Some people who get guns off the street are mentally challenged. The issue needs to be addressed without infringing on the right to bare arms.
I disagree that everything is not a race issue. It is bigger than black and white. We no longer need to be divided as a city or a state. We must work together. A divided house cannot stand. If a Democrat has a good idea, I want to work with that person. If a Republican has a good idea let’s work with them. Our job, goal, and purpose is to serve the people who elect us. In order to move Alabama forward we must unite on some issues. We need new voices and creative ideas and take personal responsibility to fix real issues and stop blaming one another.
HOW WOULD YOU BRING ABOUT POLITICAL UNITY IN ORDER TO MOVE FORWARD AND ACHIEVE GOALS?
By looking at the needs of the people. My job will be to pass legislation to help benefit the needs of the people. I will do what I can to work across party lines to make it happen. It’s called humility, which is power under control.
WHY IS RUNNING FOR THE HOUSE OF IMPORTANCE TO YOU?
It is very important because Alabama can’t wait. District 78 can’t wait. We need change. We need to stand for values. Our families need restoring. Our families need to be better off economically and stop listening to rhetoric that blames “the man” for keeping us back.
WHERE WOULD YOU FIRST IMPLEMENT CHANGE IN DISTRICT 78?
Supporting and or sponsoring bills that will support educating our children by allowing parental involvement and incentivizing those teachers and administrators that are doing a great job regardless of the socioeconomic status of the children. In addition, I will support and or sponsor legislation that promotes protecting and restoring the family unit and keeping marriage between one man and one woman. .
Tijuanna Adetunji has always voted her values. She constantly encourages other minorities to do the same and not follow tradition. She is asking minorities to think outside of the box and vote their values and take a look at her vision for the District. To see where she stands on the issues visit her website at www.change78.com and www.facebook.com/tijuannaAdetunji1
Interview by Anthoney Lewis