Why raising the minimum wage won’t work for Birmingham

Two fireworks superstores on I-20 in Alabama near Georgia line; one on each side of Interstate

Fireworks superstores on I-20 in Alabama near Georgia line on each side of Interstate

Before you folks who favor raising the Birmingham minimum wage start beating me up…please listen to what I have to say.

This piece is not about whether raising the minimum wage is a good idea or not.  I’ve read arguments for and against and I’m not taking sides.

This is about raising the minimum wage specifically for the City of Birmingham. Continue reading

Posted in Corporate community, David Sher posts, Government structure | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Children’s of Alabama: the 10th busiest pediatric center in America

Mike Warren

Michael Warren, CEO of Children’s of Alabama

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Mike Warren.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

After having been at Children’s of Alabama for over eight years, I want to share some thoughts.

Over 100 years ago a small group of dedicated volunteers recognized a great community need and began what would become Children’s of Alabama.

I think our organization today would make them extremely proud as we have grown to be a tremendous asset for the health of children throughout Alabama and the surrounding area.  Continue reading

Posted in Guest blogger, UAB, What's great about Birmingham | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Why is Mountain Brook so polarizing?

Mercutio Southall Jr., being escorted out of Donald Trump rally in Birmingham

Mercutio Southall Jr. being escorted out of Donald Trump rally in Birmingham

Last week Blake Scott Ball, a doctoral student in history at UA, wrote a scathing piece attacking Mountain Brook for al.com titled A brief history of Mountain Brook picking on Birmingham.

He talked about Mountain Brook’s history of ‘establishing segregation laws‘ and ‘moving children out of Birmingham school systems.’

Then there was the national news story in November when Mercutio Southall Jr. was attacked at the Donald Trump rally at the BJCC and complained,“Birmingham is 75 percent black, so why did he (Trump) choose to come here?  He could have gone to Mountain Brook…”

Why is Mountain Brook such a lightning rod?
Continue reading

Posted in Alabama Constitution, David Sher posts, Government structure | Tagged | 8 Comments

Birmingham: Can we all get along?

Willie Chriesman

Willie Chriesman

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Willie Chriesman.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

“Can We All Get Along?”

It was a desperate cry from the late Rodney King who spoke those words in the wake of the Los Angeles riots of 1992.

But too often when that question is asked of local government leaders around here, the answer seems usually to be “no.” Continue reading

Posted in Government structure, Guest blogger | Tagged | 1 Comment

Did Birmingham blow its one big chance?

Alabama's four largest cities

Alabama’s four largest cities–Birmingham’s population has been in free fall

I got into a heated conversation with a good friend.

She told me she read that Huntsville may soon pass Birmingham as the largest city in Alabama–and was sure Birmingham would soon be relegated to second place.

This made no sense to me.

Who really cares if the City of  Huntsville is bigger than the City of Birmingham because Metropolitan Birmingham is nearly three times as large as Metropolitan Huntsville.

Huntsville’s not even in the same league as Birmingham.  Continue reading

Posted in David Sher posts, Government structure, Population | Tagged , | 5 Comments

A new generation of dreamers ready to build a dynamic Birmingham

Matt Hottle

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Matt Hottle.

If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

Recently, Comeback Town published an article from an anonymous author that was very critical of Birmingham and its prospects for the future.

I’m not quick to publicly criticize anyone’s opinion but this article bothered me because it was only offered anonymously and appeared to be written from a poorly informed viewpoint. Continue reading

Posted in Guest blogger, What's great about Birmingham | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Nick Saban proves we in Birmingham are a bunch of suckers

Coach Nick Saban

UA Football Coach Nick Saban

I must be nuts.

I’m actually writing an article that might be perceived as negative about the most popular and respected man in Alabama—maybe in Alabama history.

This story broke January 9th; about the same time Nick Saban and the UA football team won the National Championship—but wanting to show sensitivity to Saban worshipers (which include me), I waited until this week to publish. Continue reading

Posted in David Sher posts, Government structure | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Let’s step out of our ‘Little Kingdom’ and unite for a better Birmingham

Little KingdomComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham

Today’s guest blogger was written by a commenter who calls him/herself ‘bhamthoughts’.  

(ComebackTown generally does not publish anonymous blogs–but it’s difficult to find people willing to include their name when the content may be perceived as negative.)

 If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

I am not from here.

I wasn’t born or raised here, I didn’t go to a school that starts with an “A,” and you wouldn’t know my parents if they were standing right in front of you.

I am one of those rare people who have moved TO this city from somewhere else.  Now that I have been here a while, it’s no wonder our city isn’t growing and competing with the Nashvilles and Charlottes of the world.

Everything I mention below comes from a good place, these are just the realities of our community that we need to overcome if we ever want to grow like the rest of the country. Continue reading

Posted in Government structure, Guest blogger | Tagged | 10 Comments

The fairy tale story of Ray Watts and UAB football

Drawing Aly Martin-6 years old--who loves fairy tales

Drawing by Aly Martin-6 years old–who loves fairy tales & UAB

Don’t you love stories with  happy endings?

Once upon a time in the sleepy village of Birmingham, Alabama, an evil UAB President Ray Watts (or his Trustee Roundtable) made the decision to terminate UAB football.

The UAB students took up arms, the faculty revolted, and the townspeople arose.

Chicken Little ran through the streets yelling, “The sky is falling—the sky is falling.” Continue reading

Posted in David Sher posts, UAB, What's great about Birmingham | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

What if we could dramatically cut the number of homicides in Birmingham?

Christopher Nanni President & CEO Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham

Christopher Nanni, Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham.

Chief A.C. Roper Birmingham Police Department

Chief A.C. Roper
Birmingham Police Department

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest bloggers are Christopher Nanni and Chief A.C. Roper.

If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

If you could prevent people from killing others, would you do something about it?

This is the question that the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham asked itself in 2014. The Foundation encountered a strategy being implemented around the country with dramatic results:  reducing homicides by up to 40% while at the same time decreasing incarceration, building police legitimacy, and offering those deemed the most likely to kill or be killed a way out.

Sound too good to be to be true? Continue reading

Posted in Guest blogger, What's great about Birmingham | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment