Category Archives: Alabama Constitution

Birmingham at mercy of outside interests

Sharecroppers
Sharecroppers

A sharecropper is someone who raises crops for the owner of a piece of land and is paid a portion of the money from the sale of the crops.

We in Birmingham have always been controlled by outside landlords.

Birmingham is the city of iron and steel and historically U.S. Steel controlled every aspect of our lives-politics, business, and people.  U.S. Steel is headquartered in Pittsburgh and was for much of Birmingham’s history our largest employer.  Birmingham’s labor was first to be laid off and last to be rehired.  All decisions favored Pittsburgh over Birmingham, and of course, all profits were sent up north.

Fortunately, U.S. Steel is no longer our largest employer, but unfortunately we are still being impacted. February 5th, U.S. Steel announced it could lay off up to 1,840 workers here.

But even though we are not now totally dependent on U.S. Steel, we are still controlled by outsiders. Continue reading Birmingham at mercy of outside interests

What Birmingham can learn from Ferguson Missouri

St. Louis
St. Louis

In September of 2002 Dave Adkisson, the then President of our Birmingham Area Chamber of Commerce (now BBA), and I got up for an early morning jog.  We were two of approximately one hundred Birmingham political and community leaders who had traveled to St. Louis to learn about the city and the Edward Jones Dome—home of the St. Louis Rams.

It was really dark and foggy that morning and we got lost.  When we asked some local joggers for directions, they were curious  as to why we were in St. Louis.

When we told them we came to learn about their city, they responded with an incredulous, “You want to learn about St. Louis?” Continue reading What Birmingham can learn from Ferguson Missouri

Can Birmingham get over its low self-esteem?

David Sher

One hundred years from now, when historians write the history of Birmingham, 2013 will be the year they say changed everything.

Birmingham’s been called the “City of Perpetual Promise.”  We’ve been described as the “Magic City” at our zenith and as the “Most segregated city in America” at our low point.

We’ve always been a great place to live, but not a great city.  2013 will be the year Birmingham begins its long-hard journey to become that great city. Continue reading Can Birmingham get over its low self-esteem?

Why Birmingham can never have a Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela

We in Birmingham join in mourning of the passing of the legendary South African leader, Nelson Mandela, who died last week at the age of 95.

It’s ironic that we are currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of our Civil Rights struggle the same year as Nelson Mandela’s death.

Many renowned speakers came to Birmingham this year and emphasized that Mandela was inspired by the Civil Rights struggle here in Birmingham.  It’s clear that Birmingham played a key role in changing the world. Continue reading Why Birmingham can never have a Mandela

Birmingham screwed up–Will we get a 2nd chance?

Mark Kelly, Publisher of Weld for Birmingham
Mark Kelly, Publisher of Weld for Birmingham

The objective of ComebackTown is to create a conversation on a “better Birmingham.” We focus on what’s great about our region, but it’s important to identify our shortcomings.

Many are quick to blame our politicians or corporate leadership, but the root cause of our frailties is poor government structure.

Poor government structure leaves our Birmingham region with no one in charge and everyone frustrated.  Recently, Mark Kelly, Continue reading Birmingham screwed up–Will we get a 2nd chance?

How badly is the Univ. of Ala. hurting Birmingham?

I graduated from U of A, love Bama football, and wish I could be paid a dollar every time I yell, “Roll Tide!”

Many of my friends are just like me; except the ones that do that “War Eagle” thing.  Living in Birmingham is all about the Tide and the Tigers.

I believe it’s written in our State Constitution  Continue reading How badly is the Univ. of Ala. hurting Birmingham?

Why Birmingham’s government is so screwed up

Mark Kelly, Publisher of Weld for Birmingham

The primary objective of ComebackTown is to create a conversation on a “better Birmingham.”

We often talk about what’s great about our metro, but we also want to identify our shortcomings so we can begin to propose solutions.

Many are quick to blame our politicians or corporate leadership, but the root cause of our frailties is poor government structure. Continue reading Why Birmingham’s government is so screwed up

How 155 white guys are ruining Alabama

 

John Northrop

Comebacktown published by David Sher & Phyllis Neill to begin a discussion on better government for our region.

Today’s guest blogger is John Northrop.

If Birmingham is a “comeback town,” what do we want to come back to? Surely not the days and ways of Bull Conner. Nor of chain gang labor in coal mines. Nor as a mere colony in a 19th-century steel empire.

Birmingham’s “good old days” were better for some than others. The same can be said of Alabama as a whole. Continue reading How 155 white guys are ruining Alabama

Article on Birmingham will make you vomit

I received an e-mail from a good friend, Henry Long, with a link to an article about Birmingham that made me sick to my stomach.

It was an American Thinker piece titled “Civil Rights and the Collapse of Birmingham, Ala.” written by John Bennett.

It made me ill not only because the article was being read all over the world, but the author totally mangled the facts. Continue reading Article on Birmingham will make you vomit

Is John Rogers a nut?

State Representative John Rogers

“We’re going to fix it where they can’t get permission to go to the bathroom.” 

 This is State Representative John Roger’s warning to Jefferson County Commissioners in retaliation for their decision to discontinue in patient services at Cooper Green.

I’ve published 66 blogs this past year to begin a discussion about our dysfunctional government structure, but this trumps them all. Continue reading Is John Rogers a nut?