I recently read a piece in the Nashville Business Journal that made me ill.
The nausea was amplified by the memories of a humiliating Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA) trip I took with about one hundred corporate, community, and political leaders to Nashville ten years ago.
None of us were prepared for the way we were mistreated. One Nashville speaker called us racists; another attacked our healthcare industry; and third referred to Birmingham as ‘Bombingham.’ (Nashville spits on Birmingham)
ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.
Today’s guest blogger is Jake McKenzie. If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.
A little over a decade ago, the head of Nissan North America, Carlos Ghosn, made an announcement that shocked nearly everyone – Nissan was moving their headquarters from southern California to Nashville, Tennessee. When publicly questioned why, he cited savings in operational costs and large tax incentives.
When you read some of the remarks by (I assume) white commenters on al.com, you almost have to come to the conclusion that Steven Hoyt is the devil—some kind of black racist. Councilor Hoyt is the City Council representative from Birmingham’s District 8.
Councilor Hoyt regularly seems to be in the headlines standing up for African-American inclusion when there are economic opportunities for individuals or businesses created by the City of Birmingham.
Up until a few years ago, our Chamber of Commerce (currently BBA), organized a trip of community leaders and politicians to visit other cities. They were called the “BIG Trips,” and the purpose was to learn what works in other communities.
The Chamber over a seven year period visited St. Louis (2002), Baltimore (2003), Charlotte (2004), Nashville (2005), Pittsburgh (2006), Denver (2007, and Austin (2008).