Kristy Kirkland is running for the Alabama State House of Representatives. She was born and raised in Dothan, where her family still lives.
After graduating from Northview High School in the Dothan City school system with 14 leadership scholarships, Kristy attended the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa where she was a member of the inaugural class of the Blount Undergraduate Initiative. She was recruited to the University’s championship individual events debate team, served as the president of the school’s Society for Professional Journalists and as president of Students for Life, and was inducted into the Carl E. Elliott Society and the Anderson Society. In her junior year, she was selected as a Vance/Heflin intern with the Alabama Democratic Party. For her senior year, she was awarded the Buford Boone Memorial Scholarships in both the Political Science and Journalism departments respectively, which are recognized as the top scholarships in each department. She graduated with a B.A. in political science and journalism in 2003.
Kristy then went on to earn her law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2008. While there, she was a member of the school’s arbitration team, served as a volunteer lawyer in the school’s Elder Law Clinic, was selected to be a part of the school’s exchange program with the Australian National University, and was selected to the Bench and Bar Honor Society. She earned the Dean’s Community Service Award, and was awarded the Order of the Samaritan.
After being admitted to practice law in both Florida and Alabama, Kristy worked for a large law firm in Dothan before opening her own firm. The Law Office of Kristy Kirkland has been open for eight years, and assists clients in a number of areas, including immigration, civil rights, family law, mental health law, juvenile law, and personal injury. Kristy is the immediate past president of the Houston County Bar Association, and serves on its executive committee. She is also a member of the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce, and as a business owner, believes “in pinching pennies, and making things work on a shoestring budget.” Kristy is a member of the Board of Directors for Healthy You, Inc. and the House of Ruth. She serves as secretary of the Board of Directors for Patti Rutland Jazz, and also serves on the Policing Committee for Blueprint City—Dothan. She has been a counselor with Alabama Girls State since 2001. Kristy was baptized as a believer when she was seventeen years old at Selma Baptist Church in Dothan, and has attended Wiregrass Church since 2010; she happily serves as a substitute small group leader in the church’s pre-school ministry.
“As your representative, I want to be a good steward of your tax dollars. I want to make sure they are spent wisely on programs that benefit all Alabamians, and make our state competitive. Give, Save, Live. It’s just common sense, common decency, and rural values.” — Kristy Kirkland, Candidate for Alabama House of Representatives District 86.
Like most people in District 86, my parents, David and Deborah Kirkland, taught my brother and me that an honest day’s work earned an honest day’s pay. Moreover, that pay, and those dollars, were important because I had traded a day of my life for that sustenance. I was taught the lessons that many of us are taught: live on one-third, save one-third, give 10 percent to God, and give the rest to those in need. Likewise, my parents taught my brother and me that taxes were part of a social contract we had with our government—to provide the infrastructure that we needed to survive—like bridges and roads, police and fire protection, and schools. But, they also taught us to hold those in government accountable for how they chose to spend that money.
Our legislature in Montgomery seems to have forgotten the lessons learned at our mothers’ knees. Recent headlines show legislators going to prison for using the money we have entrusted to them for their own personal gain. Legislators offer tax giveaways to their corporate buddies without tying them to job growth or retention. Then, when a budget shortfall hits, threatening to harm some of Alabama’s most vulnerable citizens, those same legislators like to stand on the House floor and declare that raising taxes on the middle- and lower- class people who live paycheck to paycheck is a “courageous” thing to do—despite the fact that they ran on the premise they would not raise taxes. Or worse yet, they try to back-door a tax on the poorest citizens by raising ad valorem taxes or raising taxes on a product more likely to be consumed by those making less money in our society.
Stewards are defined as those who oversee others’ property. Our legislators are failing as stewards of our tax dollars. We must demand better. A legislative office should not have a budget so excessive that it can afford to “donate” funds to local schools as an afterthought. We must demand that those tax dollars be allocated to our children’s schools in the first instance. These budget woes in Alabama must stop. Our legislature must learn how to stop, save, and live on the necessary margins. They must stop contributing to the regressive tax structure which relies on Alabama’s least well-off citizens to fund its government. The legislature must quit passing laws to “make a point” or to score votes by pandering to a certain demographic, which are known to be blatantly unconstitutional, costing our state millions in legal fees and revenue.
I believe in pinching pennies, and making things work on a shoestring budget—indeed, it is how I have been able to build a successful business. I negotiate for everything. It frustrates me as a business owner to see how much money is frittered away in Montgomery by failing to plan and failing to successfully negotiate for a better deal.
“As your representative, I want to be a good steward of your tax dollars. I want to make sure they are spent wisely on programs that benefit all Alabamians, and make our state competitive. Give, Save, Live. It’s just common sense, common decency, and rural values.”—Kristy Kirkland, Candidate for Alabama House of Representatives District 86.