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%.
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.
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.
*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 baseto make informed, intelligent choices as to who they vote into office. Until then, many willbe swayed or influenced by people who spend their community dollars on n’hood partieswith 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 wouldbe better served improving the n’hood infrastructure. I believe our only hope is to push for education, empowerment and involvement of our youngup and coming leaders to engage this change because the old guard is too entrenched withtheir sense of power and whatever gain they’re getting out of the system at the expense ofthe 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 joinyou blog and build on the vision of what this city/region can become. Before others canlove us, we have to love ourselves and so it goes with our Birmingham. Without her, wewould 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. http://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.
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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.
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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.
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