Here’s a comment I received on my post, Let’s move to the suburbs and attack the City of Birmingham. I was trying to make a point that our region has suffered because many of our affluent and well educated citizens have abandoned Birmingham—and then they amplify their abandonment by attacking the city for being poor and uneducated.
“I have lived in Moody most of my life and have never spent a night in the Birmingham City limits. There are a lot of us who are 45 and under in this region that don’t have any childhood connections to the old city and have no feelings of nostalgia for some sort of lost homeland. We have no guilt for leaving because we did not leave.”
My goal is to encourage those of us in the suburbs (I live in Vestavia) to understand that what happens in Birmingham is important to everyone in our region and that we’re all dependent on Birmingham whether we like it or not.
In 1912, if you’d been been a first class passenger on the Titanic, do you think you would have gotten any less wet than than those in third class? It didn’t matter that you were wealthy, had a fancy state room, or were more educated than the lower class passengers. When the Titanic sank, you were just as dead.
Living in the Birmingham region, whether it’s in Moody or Vestavia impacts us all.
When we travel out of state and someone asks us where we’re from, we are going to respond “Birmingham.” I promise you that what people think of Birmingham is what they think of you. You can claim whatever municipality you want, but to outsiders you are from Birmingham.
And when companies consider moving to our region, they think “Birmingham.” This impacts our potential for jobs and increased standard of living.
It’s not as simple as saying, “I have never spent a night in Birmingham.” We are all “Birmingham.”
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).