Metro Birmingham ranked 197th out of 200

I hear it everywhere, “Metro Birmingham’s doing fine; it’s the City of Birmingham that has problems.  Life is great in the suburbs; if the City implodes, that’s not my problem.”

If we’re all doing so great, how do you explain that the Milken Institute just named metro Birmingham one of the worst performing large cities in America? Continue reading Metro Birmingham ranked 197th out of 200

I did a back flip when the BBJ ran this piece

We started publishing the ComebackTown blog nearly a year ago to begin a discussion on improving government for metro Birmingham.

We had become completely frustrated because no community leader was willing to discuss better government.  The response was always, “That’s impossible…so let’s concentrate on something that’s doable.”  Of course, it’s impossible to achieve anything meaningful because of poor government structure.

I was beginning to think we were all alone when this editorial appeared in the Birmingham Business Journal. Continue reading I did a back flip when the BBJ ran this piece

A challenge for the Birmingham Business Alliance

Johnny Johns, Immediate past Chairman of BBA

Let’s take one incredibly hard issue and prove we can solve it

Giant headline front page,–The Birmingham News February 28, 2012,  “Let’s take one incredibly hard issue and prove we can solve it.”

The article then quotes Johnny Johns, the then  Chairman of the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA)…

 “Johnny Johns, the Protective Life Corp. Chairman, president and CEO, gave a call of arms of sorts when he said this to 28 political, business and civic leaders who had gathered at The Birmingham News to discuss how to tackle metro Birmingham’s most pressing problems.”

“…So we all stand off and we talk, talk, talk… Continue reading A challenge for the Birmingham Business Alliance

50 Shades of grey–successful book–maybe it will work for Birmingham

When I was growing up, Birmingham was black and white.

Blacks were required to sit in the back of the bus; there were separate restrooms and water fountains for colored and white; and the schools were segregated.

As a child I had a sense that something wasn’t quite right because one day while riding on a public bus with my mom I asked if it was okay to offer my seat to a black woman.  Her response still rings in my ear.  “David, you can’t do that–someone might hurt us.” Continue reading 50 Shades of grey–successful book–maybe it will work for Birmingham

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?

Birmingham has done it again!

It’s one of those things we take for granted living in our Birmingham region.

It’s an important quality of life issue—one we seem to take for granted.

We may be at the bottom of many lists, but this one—we excel.

The idea for this piece came in the form of an e-mail…

“David, todays bham news….Mayor in shootout , Katapodis appeal denied, and Malzahn new auburn coach…that’s our front page headlines….buried on page 8 or so….the REALLY GOOD NEWS Continue reading Birmingham has done it again!

How’s metro Birmingham doing? Ask Southwest Airlines

When I write about Birmingham, I typically receive comments like, “The City of Birmingham’s a disaster, but metro Birmingham and the suburbs are doing just fine.”

Certainly the City of Birmingham has seen better days, but when our city sneezes our suburbs catch a cold.

In previous blogs I’ve mentioned that Birmingham’s metro is the slowest growing of its Southern peers Continue reading How’s metro Birmingham doing? Ask Southwest Airlines

So goes Birmingham…so goes America

The presidential election is over.

Many people felt this election would make or break America.

When discussing the ramifications of the U.S. going broke or being driven into socialism, this small blog about metro Birmingham seems inconsequential.

Then I ran into this piece written by Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO of Gallup, and he reinforced the importance of our efforts to make our metro Birmingham great. Continue reading So goes Birmingham…so goes America

To begin a conversation about a better Birmingham