Tag Archives: Alabama

Alabama: A great State unless you are black, gay, or Hispanic

Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore
Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore

I recently wrote a piece, “Birmingham punished for being in Alabama,” where I pointed out that job growth in Birmingham and around the state has been relatively flat while other cities in the South are flourishing.

Our Birmingham-Hoover seven county metropolitan area has fewer people working now than we did at the beginning of the recession.

I regularly blame Birmingham’s lack of job growth on too many competing governments, but being located in Alabama is not a positive. Continue reading Alabama: A great State unless you are black, gay, or Hispanic

Birmingham punished for being in Alabama

Metropolitan Birmingham
Metropolitan Birmingham (Wikipedia)

One of the greatest obstacles to metropolitan Birmingham’s growth is too many competing governments, but that’s not the only deterrent.

Being located in Alabama is also an obstacle.

The Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) publishes a report that compares key economic figures of metropolitan Birmingham to eleven peer cities.

In my opinion, the most important of these key metrics is job growth.  And metropolitan Birmingham has no more jobs than they had before the recession. Continue reading Birmingham punished for being in Alabama

The worst thing to happen to America and Birmingham

Alabama's 6th Congressional District
Alabama’s 6th Congressional District

I attended Gary Palmer’s victory celebration at the Birmingham Marriott and I was blinded by the “white.”  There may have been an African-American there, but I didn’t see one.  This should not be a surprise since Alabama’s 6th Congressional District is 88.8% white and 7.7% African-American. Continue reading The worst thing to happen to America and Birmingham

How 155 white guys are ruining Alabama

 

John Northrop

Comebacktown published by David Sher & Phyllis Neill to begin a discussion on better government for our region.

Today’s guest blogger is John Northrop.

If Birmingham is a “comeback town,” what do we want to come back to? Surely not the days and ways of Bull Conner. Nor of chain gang labor in coal mines. Nor as a mere colony in a 19th-century steel empire.

Birmingham’s “good old days” were better for some than others. The same can be said of Alabama as a whole. Continue reading How 155 white guys are ruining Alabama

Metro Birmingham should secede from Alabama

As you may have heard a petition filed by a Chuncula resident seeking Alabama’s withdrawal from the U.S. reached 25,000 signatures and now requires a response from the White House.

The petition asks the administration to “peacefully grant the state of Alabama to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own new government.”

Well, if this is a good idea, I’ve got an even better one. Continue reading Metro Birmingham should secede from Alabama

Go home and get your act together!

Senator's Shelby and Sessions are always telling Birmingham to speak with one voice

Our BBA (Chamber of Commerce) takes a trip to Washington every year to visit our Alabama Senators and Congressmen and to lobby for legislation and money.

The BBA prepares a priority agenda and typically a small group of business leaders, politicians, and staff fly to DC to make their request. Continue reading Go home and get your act together!

We’re losing our children

I was eating lunch at Rotary and I couldn’t believe the table conversation.

A Rotarian who is also a business owner said, “I am so disappointed in Birmingham.  I hope when my children graduate college they’ll move to another city where they have greater opportunities.”

Another responded, “I feel the same way. In fact, if I could move my business, I would move tomorrow.” Continue reading We’re losing our children

Let’s spend $125 million stealing from one another

Birmingham Steel Mills 1910-1919--Birmingham was known as the Pittsburgh of the South

Birmingham has always been known as a “steel” town.  Now we should be known as the “steal” town.

While our peer cities are recruiting companies from other regions, we steal businesses from each another. Continue reading Let’s spend $125 million stealing from one another

Birmingham is in the center of my heart

The Hess Camellia Garden at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens

The year 1999 was painful for me and my family.  My wife, Ina-Mae, was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Fortunately the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center is located here in Birmingham.  And I’m absolutely convinced Ina-Mae would not have survived without UAB.

Patients come from all over the world to visit UAB.  When Ina-Mae registered with doctors at Kirklin Clinic, nurses seemed genuinely surprised we lived almost in walking distance. Continue reading Birmingham is in the center of my heart

Convoluted government brings us to our knees

St. Louis and Birmingham surprisingly have a lot in common

 

The year was 2002.  Dave Adkisson, the then Birmingham Chamber of Commerce President, and I were in St. Louis jogging early one morning when we struck up a conversation with a local runner.

He asked where we were from and why we were visiting St. Louis.  We told him we were with a group of about 100 business leaders and politicians from Birmingham who had come to St. Louis to learn about his city’s successes.

His response was one of disbelief.  “Why in the world would anyone think there was anything good to learn about St. Louis?” Continue reading Convoluted government brings us to our knees