You know the Birmingham haters. They are the stars of talk radio and the first to comment on al.com. They hope Birmingham’s annihilated by the Bubonic Plague, that Vulcan suffers from herpes, and that the Mayor gets dandruff.
Birmingham haters seem to be euphoric when anyone writes anything negative about our area.
And even though I love Birmingham, I do write some negative stuff every once in a while. I want to make sure everyone clearly understands that our Birmingham region is falling behind because of our segmented/dysfunctional governments.
But watch it, Birmingham haters—I’m usually talking about our entire metro area which includes Bibb, Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, St. Clair, Shelby, and Walker Counties—places where you probably live.
So it’s not just us working folks in Birmingham or Jefferson County who suffer. It’s also you and your neighbors who may be looking to keep or find good jobs to maintain or improve your own standard of living.
Take a look at these alarming metro headlines. (Note that the Birmingham-Hoover metro is the 50th largest in the U.S.)…
The 2011 Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities Index ranked Birmingham 182nd out of the 200 largest U.S. metropolitan areas by how well we are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth.
The Birmingham Business Journal said Metro Birmingham ranks 91st in job growth. (April 10, 2012)
Al.com wrote that Birmingham lost 12 percent of its construction jobs over the 12-month period ending in March, a decline that placed it near the bottom of the nation’s 337 metros. (May 3, 2012)
The Birmingham Business Journal says Birmingham ranks No. 34 among large Southern metros for small business vitality. (April 10, 2012). (I didn’t realize there were 34 large Southern metros.)
Attacking Birmingham is not productive. Like it or not, we are all in this together.
Instead of slamming Birmingham, why don’t we work together to find some solutions.
David Sher’s goal is to create a conversation on how to fix our fragmented and dysfunctional local government.
David Sher is a partner in Buzz12 Content Marketing and co-CEO of AmSher Receivables Management. He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (ONB), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).