Category Archives: Guest blogger

Warning: Blacks—be careful when moving to Birmingham

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

Today’s guest blogger is Donna Francavilla.

What will it take for Birmingham to remove the tarnish of a half-century ago?

Whenever images of Birmingham’s tumultuous past are flashed before viewers, the black and white footage and photographs of attacking police dogs, of fire hoses blasting teenage demonstrators, and peaceful protesters being hauled off to jail are shown.  You’ve seen those indelible images repeatedly.  They continue to stigmatize our community in the eyes of the nation and the world. Continue reading Warning: Blacks—be careful when moving to 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

Metro Birmingham mimics Three Stooges

 

Maury Shevin

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

Today’s guest blogger is Maury Shevin, a Birmingham native.

Remember, “One for all!  All for one!! Every man for himself!!!”  I do and if you are of a certain age, then you do too.  It is a line made famous by the infamous Three Stooges.  And, boy, doesn’t it now relate to our community? Continue reading Metro Birmingham mimics Three Stooges

Laura Kate Whitney: Where’s Birmingham headed?

 

Laura Kate Whitney

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

Today’s guest blogger is Laura Kate Whitney, a young professional.

Birmingham is two separate cities.

One Birmingham is full of hope and energy. She’s a half-full kind of gal.  She doesn’t play with the naysayers, and she also doesn’t let those with a negative view of her community slow her down. She breeds creativity, innovation; she represents a new generation of Birmingham, a 21st century population, one diverse racially, culturally, and socioeconomically.  She prefers to focus on the future rather than the past. Continue reading Laura Kate Whitney: Where’s Birmingham headed?

VJ Graffeo dreams of Birmingham being an “it” city

 

V.J. Graffeo

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

Today’s guest blogger is V.J Graffeo, a young professional.

I’m a Birmingham homer.  I drink the Magic City Kool-Aid in such excess that I am often blind to our blemishes, dreaming that perhaps that just one day, we will transform into an “it” city.  Continue reading VJ Graffeo dreams of Birmingham being an “it” city

Should we celebrate Birmingham’s 50th civil rights anniversary?

 

Willie Chriesman

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

Today’s guest blogger is Willie Chriesman.

The city of Birmingham has come up with a name for its observations of the landmark events of the Civil Rights Movement that took place here in 1963. But you have to wonder if “50 Years Forward” is more descriptive of the last half-century or more aspirational for the decades to come. Continue reading Should we celebrate Birmingham’s 50th civil rights anniversary?

A modest idea to end balkanization of Birmingham School System

 

Scotty Colson

Comebacktown published by David Sher & Phyllis Neill to begin a discussion on creating better government for metro Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Scotty Colson.

When the School Board went to an elected board is when my family pretty much gave up on quality changes in our system. At that time I asked anyone who would listen how adding 9 more politicians did anything to make our system better. Since then we have seen an exodus from our schools and a consistent descent into failure culminated in recent events. Continue reading A modest idea to end balkanization of Birmingham School System

The real problem with our Birmingham Board of Education

 

Michael Calvert

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

Today’s guest blogger is Michael Calvert.

The fundamental problem with the Birmingham Board of Education is the election of board members from the nine City Council districts. This structure explains much of the poor performance of board members. Continue reading The real problem with our Birmingham Board of Education

Downtown Birmingham safe as Mt. Brook or Vestavia

 

Teresa Thorne Executive Director of City Action Partnership (CAP)

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

Today’s guest blogger is Teresa Thorne.

Downtown Birmingham is as safe as the over-the-mountain neighbors Mountain Brook and Vestavia. How can I make that assertion? Here are the numbers:

Crime in the central downtown (85-block area) that CAP patrols has dropped 55% from 1995-2011. Continue reading Downtown Birmingham safe as Mt. Brook or Vestavia