IT'S WORTH RECONNECTING WITH THE PRINCIPLE OF SELF-GOVERNMENT AND DEMOCRACY AT THE LOCAL LEVEL THAT WAS ALWAYS MEANT TO DEFINE OUR SYSTEM. AS I TRAVELLED FOR THIS SERIES I WAS ABLE TO SPEAK WITH A NUMBER OF LOCAL OFFICIALS IN THE DEEP AND MIDDLE SOUTH. HERE ARE SOME OF MY CONVERSATIONS WITH THREE:

  • MAYOR ANTHONY WITHERSPOON OF MAGNOLIA, MISSISSIPPI. A RURAL COMMUNITY NEAR THE LOUISIANA BORDER, AS THEY SEEK TO OPEN UP THE COMMUNITY AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT IN THE REGION.

  • MAYOR MIKE SCHMITZ OF DOTHAN, ALABAMA. CAPITOL OF THE WIREGRASS REGION AT THE CORNER OF ALABAMA, GEORGIA, AND NORTH FLORIDA, AND ALSO, ON MAYOR SCHMITZ' INITIATIVE, THE HOST OF THE 2014 US-CHINA MANUFACTURING SYMPOSIUM.

  • MAYOR DAVID PENNINGTON OF COFFEE COUNTY, TENNESSEE. A RURAL AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING LARGE NEW INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT. HOME TO BONNAROO, THE LARGEST MUSIC FESTIVAL IN NORTH AMERICA.