There's a snake!" my neighbor shouted at us as she swung open her front door. "Watch out! It's a copperhead."

My husband Chris was pushing our curly-headed ginger in her stroller and saw it before I did.

He of course stayed calm, laughing at me while I high-stepped – yes, really – then serpentined away from the snake.

"Were you going to say anything? Or just let us run over it?" he teased.

I think he knew the answer because I've done it before. A few summers ago, a fat timber rattler lazed across one side of the dusky street to the other. Chris was two steps ahead and that time I was the one who saw the snake and could've warned Chris to stop.

Instead, I panicked and went mute – the same way some of our legislators did during this last session.

We’re thrilled about the strides that were made in the session, including the new law Gov. Kay Ivey signed – the one that makes sure students play sports only with their biological sex. Or the anti-ESG bill making its way to Ivey’s desk. Or even the grocery tax cut in half. But still, legislative complacency needs to be killed.

Why? Because our legislators didn’t quite work out the things that matter most to parents or patients. There are still pressing issues that must be hammered out.

Writing for 1819 News, Craig Monger explained the issues still demanding attention. One of these included school choice, and Alabamian parents missed the opportunity "to apply for their children's Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs)” which “can be used for many education-related expenses.”

Someone help me. When it comes to education, why do the same people who love to fling around phrases like pro-choice, choice, or family planning options, fail to give Alabama parents any of those things when they’re right in front of their face as with this bill?

Or explain to me why Rep. Susan Dubose's (R-Hoover) bill, the What is a Woman Act which defines man, woman, boy, girl, father, mother, male, female, and sex in the Code of Alabama, didn’t pass? It's the one that shouldn't have had to be written. But it's 2023, so apparently we must spell out the obvious.

Or consider Rep. Arnold Mooney’s (R-Indian Springs) bill defending our kids against drag shows.

This is a no-brainer. But it didn't pass. And now another family-friendly drag show is in the offing, set to happen in Mobile in front of the Catholic church.

Why the heavy-handed push to shove sex in our kid's face? And this time, in front of the church? Like my husband said, that feels a lot like giving God the middle finger.

Why have otherwise decent humans in our legislative body gone mute on the subject? Do they hate our kids?

Furthermore, what about the divisive concepts bill? It sought to “prohibit certain public entities from conditioning enrollment or attendance in certain classes or training based on race or color,” Craig Monger wrote for 1819 News. “It would also authorize certain public entities to discipline or terminate employees or contractors who violate the bill's provisions.”

Is it just me? Or are too many elected officials themselves divisive concepts?

And then there’s the state health officer, aka the state health oligarch. That debacle of a bill should be called “gut me, or gut me not,” because that is the question.

“We are in the FOURTH legislative session since this disaster started, and the vacuum in leadership from our elected officials is appalling,” Dr. Stewart Tankersley recently wrote in an op-ed for 1819 News. “It is past time for leadership to step to the fore and change the selection system for our state's health officer, remove Dr. Scott Harris and hold those responsible for the gross mismanagement during this historic disaster.”

After a session with such promise, it ended with too many people being too quiet regarding subjects that matter most to Alabamians.

It’s exhausting. It’s maddening. And it’s a little depressing.

It’s funny, the only time Chris and I made it past a snake was when he pulled me back from stepping directly on an adult copperhead – a near catastrophe. Thankfully our neighbor and his wife passed by just then and ran over it. I’ve never been so happy to see a hatchback in all my life.

But instead of dying after being smashed by a car, the snake leaped furiously in the air. Really.

We stood by, astonished. It was a hammer that finally took it out.

We would do well to learn a lesson from this. There is no letting our guard down, even in the legislative off-season. The only option is to continue to swing Montgomery’s doors open wide and tell each other what we see. And even what we don’t.

Let’s keep each other from stepping on those snakes that creep in, sometimes doing so right beneath our feet.

Amie Beth Shaver is a speaker, writer and media commentator. Her column appears every Wednesday in 1819 News. Shaver served on the Alabama GOP State Executive Committee, was a candidate for State House District 43 and spokeswoman for Allied Women.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to