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.”
The tone of the conversation was morbid.
Well, I have to admit. I’m completely selfish. I have two children and three grandchildren. My daughter recently moved back to Birmingham. My son, daughter-in-law, and grandson live in Atlanta. Quite frankly, I wish every one of my children and grandchildren lived nearby—opportunity or not.
Am I a bad parent?
Actually, I would like to have the best of both worlds. I would like for my children to live here, but for them to find equal or better business or career opportunities that they might find elsewhere.
The fact is we are losing the brightest and best of our next generation to other cities.
According to a recent article in USA Today , of the 51 largest U.S. metro areas, only Birmingham and New Orleans have had a population loss from 2000 to 2009 in 25-to 34 year olds who have a four-year degree or higher and live within three miles of a metro area’s central business district. (Source: American Community Survey by Impresa Inc. for CEO’s for Cities). View report.
Do you want to play with your grandchildren? Do want to spend the final years of your life alone with your family living thousands of miles away?
Let’s do something significant to move Birmingham ahead to create opportunities for our children.
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).