I love to read positive national stories about Birmingham…and there have been a lot of them lately.
So I couldn’t wait to read the article in City Lab titled, “How Birmingham thrived despite a county bankruptcy in Alabama’s largest city–a story of economic confidence in an unlikely place.”
“A story of economic confidence in an unlikely place.”
Yes, the piece bragged about Birmingham. It described how we’ve thrived since the Jefferson County’s bankruptcy.
But then the author hit us in the face with a pie…
This is how he described Birmingham after smothering us with compliments…
- one of the highest crime rates in America
- schools who are among the worst
- high poverty rate
- one of the worst cities for public transit
- struggles with the legacy of racism
- people are unhealthy
- air quality sucks
- filled with food deserts
- big increases in sewer rates for next 40 years
- young people love Birmingham, but are most likely to leave
Each ding included a web link to reinforce his ugly comments about our City.
Birmingham on a roll
Birmingham is making remarkable progress.
It was totally unexpected and it’s been a sheer joy to experience.
Great things are happening at UAB, Southern Research Institute, and Innovation Depot.
We’re thrilled with Railroad Park, Regions Field, the Rotary Trail, the Lyric Theatre, Pizitz, and the Thomas Jefferson Hotel. The good news just keeps coming.
But many of these developments, though appreciated, are cosmetic at best.
What’s next for Birmingham?
We’re doing the pretty stuff…the fun stuff.
But what about our difficult and complicated challenges? The ones that aren’t fun.
We’re still not growing jobs in our metropolitan area like our Southern peer cities.
We will never reach our potential until we start working together as a community.
We have too many competing governments who think that the municipality next door is the enemy.
We remain segmented, quarrelsome and have no vision for our region.
Our younger generation’s not going to be satisfied with our mediocrity when we have the potential to be so much better.
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 Co-Founder of AmSher Compassionate Collections. He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (REV Birmingham), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).