I recently read a piece in the Nashville Business Journal that made me ill.
The nausea was amplified by the memories of a humiliating Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA) trip I took with about one hundred corporate, community, and political leaders to Nashville ten years ago.
None of us were prepared for the way we were mistreated. One Nashville speaker called us racists; another attacked our healthcare industry; and third referred to Birmingham as ‘Bombingham.’ (Nashville spits on Birmingham)
Folks in Birmingham squabble a lot, but there’s one thing we agree on —none of us want Birmingham to become another Atlanta.
Because the growth of metropolitan Birmingham has been so slow, I haven’t spent much time worrying about Birmingham getting too big. In fact, I’ve been much more concerned about Birmingham staying the size of Birmingham.
If you do, your bejeebies will be obliterated when you see the one depressing statistic that best describes the economic health of metropolitan Birmingham.
Please note we’re nottalking about just the City of Birmingham or Jefferson County. We’re talking about the Birmingham Hoover Metropolitan area—defined by our seven counties: Bibb, Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, St. Clair, Shelby, and Walker.
So the folks in our suburbs are impacted by this number just as much as our local residents.
How about an idea most people think would transform Birmingham–but they will not consider because they think it would be impossible to implement?
You may say we don’t need to do anything different because we’re making progress. We are making progress, but let‘s look at how metro Birmingham compares to our regional rivals in several key areas. (Birmingham Business Journal January 10, 2014).