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Lord John Acton is often quoted for his assertion, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” From the misdeeds of many of our elected officials, it is confirmed that power does indeed corrupt, but it is also true that corrupt people seek power. This is a major factor in our struggle for a new constitution in Alabama, because our elected officials in Montgomery don’t want to give up ANY of their power. The only way to overcome this is to vote new people into office that are in favor of a new constitution and home rule. We will have to actively RECRUIT AND SUPPORT these replacements, because the vast majority of moral, competent people do not run for public office. However, the corrupt (or corruptible) will always be on the ballot because they seek the power that enables them to achieve their ends.
Valerie, what a thoughtful post. I agree with you 100%.
Those who hunger for power leave the powerless hungry
I agree 100 percent about that. But their is still good people that i yhink or want to think in the world that is uncorruptible, that still has good left in them. With out hope for the near future and goodness and light is in all people then were in for a rude awakening for the future of everything.
Great article. Though I no longer live in Birmingham, I was born, raised , educated and worked there. I am so happy a link exists dedicated to the continued growth and vitality of its residents that allows those who will always cherish Birmingham thru the good times and those that were trying. History is so important in the on-going growth efforts . Thanks to all who dedicate thier time to this endeavor…
I’ve lived in Alabama all my life. I’m over 50 and I’ve seen so many public officials local, state and federal in AL get in office and then get corrupted. In the pasts few decades I’ve seen far too many incompetent, self-seeking, power hungry, partisan, jerks – mostly Republicans gain office. I welcome the opportunity for new faces who believe in protecting our Democracy to run for office and win a seat be they Democrat or Republican. It’s time for Alabamians to stop old backward ways and move more assertively & progressively into our future in the 21st century.
It doesn’t matter if I are a Republican or not, although I personally think it’s a shame that republican’s lost their majority ín both the Senate and the House, but people didn’t want a republican majority so now you reap what you sow!?! Can you say 8:00$ a gallon ???
I Totally Agree! And isn’t it interesting that they are usually bossed, bought and controlled by whoever or whatever entity that “owns” them. They have no interest whatsoever in raising the quality of life for the common citizens of “any” community…They work only for the Plantation master…
Valerie, You wrote this 10 years ago. At that time, your words were seen as visionary. Fast forward through the teens and into the 2020s, your words have taken on new meaning – PROFOUND.
Valerie, what sets you apart from most of political action is you have never been there for the “power.” You have always been three for something far greater and meaningful – TO SERVE.
Since the very first time I met you, you have always been a source of knowledge, strength, and courage. For this, I will forever be very grateful. In all these years, it has never been about you. It’s always been about us and we. This fact alone brings you into a league of your own..
Birmingham is a far, far better place today because of your unending, sincere, and loving service. True, I moved from Birmingham some years ago. But I do still keep tabs on what’s going on. The city and it’s people to whom you have made it your passion to serve are leaps and bounds better today because of everything you have done, and continue to this day doing, from the bottom of my heart. I say THANK YOU AND WE LOVE YOU.
Amen Valerie. I find it ironic the as the corrupt are elevated to their pedestal, they seem yo groom a host of supporters who are blindfolded and usher those same corrupt leaders onto higher ground. Comminities tend to groom their corrupt leaders and tend to look the otger way. Quite often corrupt leaders in the city and county have come and gone. It is only through caring and observing citizenry that such corrupt actons are exposed and brought to the surface.
Interesting you are doing this in what seems to be a proactive stance. You have always been positive on Birmingham and this is just the next future step. My thought.
Trudy, thanks. Please encourage others to participate.
Hi I am an original Birmingham Alabama person born at carraway Methodist hospital on August 30 1950 can you help me find someone in that area to chat with I have not been in Birmingham in over thirty years thanks Thomas Williams
I was born at Carraway Methodist Hospital 2 weeks after you. I lived in that area for more than 20 years. I still attend church in Norwood and have always had a liken for that area, although I live on the East side now.
David – As information only, the now-iconic photo of Mayors Bell and Petelos holding hands was indeed
taken at Railroad Park. But it was NOT on the occasion of the dedication of the park. Rather, it was on the
occasion of the launch of Blueprint Birmingham, and the date was September 23, 2010 – exactly one week
AFTER the dedication of the park took place. I continue to believe that the Blueprint – with its four main
goals, 16 objectives, 42 action items and 164 specific tactics, remains our region’s best hope for a bright
Barry, thanks for the clarification. I’ve changed the caption of the picture accordingly. I’m beginning to understand how Wikipedia works. I make mistakes and others correct them. Pretty darn helpful. Please continue to participate. No one knows much more about Birmingham than you do.
Hi I am an original Birmingham Alabama person born at carraway Methodist hospital on August 30 1950 can you help me find someone in that area to chat with I have not been in Birmingham in over thirty years thanks Thomas Williams2
*David: I am with you all the way. I choose to live here, and base my businesses where I grew up. Many of the people on your list are old friends and feel exactly as we do, but that doesn’t mean that we are blind to the problems. Valerie is right about the politics, but a committed group of people can produce strong, ethical challengers like her to the system. It really isn’t about politics. It is about the future of the entire metro area and the quality of life for all of us.
Diane, thanks for your enthusiasm about Birmingham and thanks for signing up for our e-mail newsletter. Please continue to comment and give your feedback.
*David – I agree with everyone here. I love this city and still believe in my heart that it is a
“best kept secret”. However, it’s imperative that we find a way to educate the voter base
to make informed, intelligent choices as to who they vote into office. Until then, many will
be swayed or influenced by people who spend their community dollars on n’hood parties
with blow up tents, etc. to make themselves look good to their voter base. Unfortunately,
these are also some of the most economically challenged n’hoods where such funding would
be better served improving the n’hood infrastructure.
I believe our only hope is to push for education, empowerment and involvement of our young
up and coming leaders to engage this change because the old guard is too entrenched with
their sense of power and whatever gain they’re getting out of the system at the expense of
the overall region. And, the saddest part of this is that they really don’t care as long as
they get their “fix”.
I plan to send your link to all of my connections across the region with an invitation to join
you blog and build on the vision of what this city/region can become. Before others can
love us, we have to love ourselves and so it goes with our Birmingham. Without her, we
would have no Alabaster, Pelham, Hoover, Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, Gardendale, Midfield, Fairfield, Trussville, etc.
Keep up the good work. Hope to meet you soon…I’ll buy.
Phyllis, there’s is power in numbers–and a viral effort like yours will enable us to get the attention of corporate, community, and political leaders!
If abandoning the city is the issue, why do you think the I love our City, “well intentioned”, who no longer have school aged kids, do not move back in the city? Then they can buy homes in Birmingham, pay taxes, vote their convictions, and run for office to change things? There are beautiful homes and neighborhoods, parks, lofts and apartments–think Highland, Redmont, Forrest Park, etc.-waiting for the “concerned” suburban city supporters to grace their streets. Some have, but most just say how their heart is in Birmingham, but they put their heads on their pillows in the suburbs, in their mountain retreats, and at the lakehomes. What do you think?
That’s a great question. I wish others would respond. You obviously live in Birmingham and set an example for others.
BTW, if you (or anyone else) would like to be a guest blogger, please let me know. (Subject matter must relate to better governance for our region.)
I’ve been trying to sign up for the newsletter for a good part of the day, but sendible.com seems to be completely down. Is there any other way to sign up?
Mike, so sorry you had problems signing up for newsletter. I signed you up manually. Thank you for going the extra mile to let me know. I very much appreciate you.
*hey Mr. Sher,
I so wished I would’ve signed up for this blog much earlier and certainly encourage others to do so as well. Birmingham is definitely on the rise regardless of all the naysayers but I very much agree with everyone especially Ms. Abbott. We have the complete wrong people in office but sadly things aren’t going to get better until a new generation of people are ushered in to fix it. I do believe that we are making better strides towards making Birmingham better with the current administration(Mayor Bell and council) but I see no immediate progress being made as far as the state goes. As far as our region is concerned, I’m very optimistic and hope that the dialogue between Birmingham and its surrounding municipalities continue to get better because our voices aren’t being heard and won’t if we continue down this seperated path. Im sure we’ll never be under one government and continue to have all of these seperate school systems, a battle and idea that was permanently lost back in the 70s/80s, but we can at least come together by having more respect for and understanding of Birmingham and surrounding municipalities. That way needs can be better fulfilled and competition can cease between each other.
Fred, thank you so much for your comments…and please feel free to call me David. I’m so glad you found our blog. The good news, if you have some time, is that all the blog posts and comments are available for review. https://www.comebacktown.com We started in February and the audience and participation is increasing rather rapidly. Please continue to comment and be a part of our solution.
I agree with what the lady said in the article about getting people to move to Birmingham. I’m from Birmingham but know reside in Georgia and when I take friends to Birmingham they love it. I even had a friend move there after I let him visit with me. So Birmingham just needs to change the way that people view it from the outside looking in.
Antonio, no truer words have ever been spoken. Most transplants & visitors love Birmingham. Many of the folks who grew up here can only find fault. Birmingham is beautiful, the people are nice & generous, and there’s much less traffic than many of our peer cities. Please continue to stay involved and comment. It’s great to hear from people like you with a positive attitude.
Thanks for you positive comments about Birmingham, the come back town. BTW are you still running marathons? I’m so out of shape now…I couldn’t run across the street.
Doug, so good to hear from you. Knees are keeping me from running. Time for you to get back in shape.
how important is the relationship to Birmingham of the municipalities and communities of the so called metropolitan make up of the whole city of Birmingham? Are these out lying communities included only for the purpose of adding population to the metropolitan area so it appears that Birmingham is larger than it actually is? For instance, the city of Clanton is merely considered as a bedroom community to Birmingham. How does this actually help the people here in Clanton. We need more brain power and energetic leaders here to help our community grow and one day actually merge with Birmingham to provide a more vibrate population for the whole metropolitan area. Please share your thoughts on this matter.
When I started Joseph McClure Commercial Real Estate, LLC back in 1989, I moved to the city center and dedicated my business and my life to participating in the return of downtown Birmingham to its former vibrant, glorious self. At that time, many of the beautiful historic buildings were vacant and dilapidated and it was disheartening to watch as over the next few years that trend continued. Then slowly but surely, the market began to change.With the help of people like John Lauriello of South Pace Properties and Operation New Birmingham, the trend eventually took a positive turn and by the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, the demand for the tired old historic buildings began to increase and then snow-balled to the real estate frenzy we are experiencing today. It has taken a while, but the demand has now breached the 19th street “barrier” with the renovation of the old Thomas Jefferson, the Pizitz Building and the Lyric Theater all under construction with another ten or so projects about to join them. I am pleased with the two dozen or more downtown Birmingham historic construction projects my company has handled and am looking forward to starting three more in the next couple months. I am most proud of not only what downtown Birmingham has become, but what it obviously will soon be.
I have been watching your correspondence for some time with great interest as a lifelong
Birminghamian who loves the city and chose to remain.I applaud your positive and sometimes provacative stance you take for the city,however what give me pause about your case is the platform that you give opinion writer John Archibald, it is my personal opinion that Mr Archibald is greastest hindrance to a progressive Birmingham with his over the top rhetoric and hyperbole.His articles always tend to bash the leadership of the city more specifically the Council of the city.His articles omit facts,truths and slants toward his personal opinion .I think he divides,and stoke the hate that some readers have against Birmingham.I could go on and on about that because I am very passionate about my city.With that said I wish you Godspeed and keep up the good work.
Hi David , I just wanted to let you know things are moving in a positive direction , although not as fast as some ( myself included) would like . I do feel, it would be a disappointment if our elected officials fails to allow us the opportunity to vote on expanded gaming . Casino gaming would do so much for our local economy . We have 4 major interstates that bring close to 60 to 70 million car through this city every year . The best dollar is the tourist dollar . Casinos would do wonders for our ability to attract major trade shows and conventions . If you want to retain our best and brightest we have got to become a city that is broad minded and open to the wishes of its citizens .
We can not move forward and continue to look back at the same time . I am a staunch believer in Birmingham , and it would take a team of wild horses to drag me away from here .
So in closing , I love your positive attitude and your genuine love for this place we all call home . If you take a good look around, you will see the “MAGIC ” is back in this city . Birmingham’s best days are ahead. I feel it within every fiber of my being.