Praising Birmingham brings out the devil in them.
When Teresa Thorne, the Executive Director of CAP, bragged that downtown Birmingham was as safe at Mt. Brook or Vestavia…
“You guys must not go downtown much. It is very dangerous day and night. Also, I know former and present Police and they say the Dept. is corrupt. It is a sewer down there. That is a fact.”
“Downtown Bham is a hell hole. Would any of you want your mother or wife to have to walk around alone in downtown bham after dark?”
When John Lauriello, Principal at Southpace Properties, talked about downtown’s huge comeback…
“According to al.com, weekend nights in the Progressive Utopia of Birmingham are filled with gunfire, blood, robberies, death, and body bags.”
“Crime and homelessness are rampant. The social structure of the city is broken and will remain so for decades to come.
Birmingham has some problems, but there’s good stuff…
Railroad Park, new Baseball Stadium, Rotary linear park, Sloss Welcome Center, Birmingham CrossPlex, new entertainment district are a few of the projects completed or on the way.
Downtown is safe. As best I can remember there have been only one or two murders in the central business district or Five Points in the past ten years…and those were at night in night clubs. (If anyone knows differently, I welcome your feedback.)
There are more than 4,000 people living downtown with virtually no residential vacancies. Additional housing is on the way.
Here are comments from two downtown dwellers…
“After 8 years living downtown, my favorite part is still the sense of community and friendship. Walking down the street (at any hour), bumping into neighbors out jogging, walking their dogs, eating at restaurants or just out for a walk…”
“Wow…”we got some haters”….It’s clear many of you are part of the “flight” out of Bham, because you quickly jump at the chance to add something negative. Possibly to justify or feel better about your move. Well, there are many who reside in this downtown area and love it and feel safe. Why not be happy about that??? Why not offer, “Keep up the good work”, “way to go”, something besides the usual hate.
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David Sher is a partner in Buzz12 Marketing and co-CEO of AmSher Receivables Management. He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (ONB), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).