by Max Brantley
Sen. Tracy Steele is giving up one of his two public paychecks, a double-dip that has caused him some criticism over the years. He is resigning as director of the state Martin Luther King Commission. A news release extolling his work, but not revealing his future plans, is on the jump.
The folks over at Briefing Notebook, which broke the news first, indicate Steele may be getting into the publishing business. His brother, Michael, has an ad/PR firm, Advantage Communications Inc., and has had an interest in establishing a publication targeting an African-American audience.
Indeed, we did a little checking and it would appear that the monthly magazine is ready for a rollout tomorrow. It will be known as Stand! News.
The commission will decide who succeeds Steele in a job that pays upwards of $50,000. Will they advertise the opening and interview candidates? Or, as some surmise, does Steele have a hand-picked candidate in the wings? The commission is generally friendly to Steele, who successfully fought off removal efforts led by critics who said he has accomplished little in his 12 years there.
ACI NEWS RELEASE
Senator Tracy Steele will announce today his decision to leave his position as executive director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, a position he has held since the commission’s inception in 1994.
“It’s always nice to leave on your own time and terms,” said Steele. “As a person, a leader, and a public official, I will continue to uphold the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.”
Senator Steele has done a tremendous amount of work with the King Commission. In over a decade of service, Steele has managed to bring global recognition to Arkansas through his work with Rev. Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, Julian Bond, Miss America Debbie Turner, and the late Coretta Scott King. He has been recognized by Ebony magazine as one of the nation’s top young leaders, and received the American Century Award from the Washington Times Foundation.
In the 2005 Arkansas legislative session, Senator Steele sponsored Act 1483 to appropriate funds to erect the Little Rock Nine Civil Rights Monument. Throughout all of his endeavors, he has never forgotten to leave a legacy for the children of Arkansas to follow. Programs such as the “I Have a Dream” Youth Assembly, the Arkansas African-American History Makers coloring book, and King Teams reflect not only this legacy, but prove to young African-Americans that their dreams can also breed realities. “I’m proud of the past, but I’m even more excited about the future,” said Steele.