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.
It’s time for metro Birmingham to secede from Alabama.
I wrote a blog recently titled “Is metro Birmingham condemned to mediocrity?.” I complained that metro Birmingham is growing slower than every other major Southern City. However, all of my comparisons were with cities outside Alabama.
I ran into a friend afterwards who told me my facts were wrong. He pointed out that both Mobile and Montgomery are growing slowly.
Do I need to say more?
Alabama has an outdated mean-spirited Constitution that does not allow counties to manage themselves. Look at the financial mess the State Legislature created for Jefferson County through its Constitutional powers to deny counties the authority to make decisions. (Another case of our dysfunctional government structure)
And isn’t it strange our Constitution requires everyone in the State to vote on local issues? During our most recent election did you feel qualified to vote on the following amendments?
• Amendment 3–a local amendment for Baldwin County that would make the community of Stockton a landmark district that could not be annexed by other municipalities.
• Amendment 5–authorize the merger of the Water and Sewer Board of the city of Prichard to the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System.
Is that any of our business?
And what about perks we don’t receive in Alabama?
• Florida has no State income tax; Tennessee only taxes dividend and interest income for individuals.
•Alabama is one of only two states that offers no tax breaks on groceries.
• Students with good grades in George receive financial assistance for college.
And this just in: Forbes just selected Alabama as one of eleven states facing a fiscal death spiral—claiming Alabama is not safe for municipal bond investors, home buyers or other individuals.
Maybe it’s time we petition to move metro Birmingham to Georgia or Florida.
Let’s turn Birmingham around. Click here to sign up for our newsletter. There’s power in numbers. (Opt out at any time)
David Sher is a partner in Buzz12 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).