We moved from the suburbs to Avondale and love it

Claire Parker

Claire Parker

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

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

It was the energy.

The energy we felt when we drove in to the city for dinner, music, theater, walking or picnics.  That energy drew us in frequently, and ultimately we moved in to Avondale from the suburbs over a year ago.

It’s been everything we were looking for and much more. Continue reading

Posted in Guest blogger, What's great about Birmingham | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

When white people tell black people what to do

Race is the big elephant in Birmingham's room

Race is the big elephant in Birmingham’s room (Photo courtesy of Birmingham Zoo)

If you want to measure the financial vitality of a region–look at job growth.

Our Birmingham seven county metropolitan areahas fewer people employed today than in 2007.

That’s nearly a decade with a net loss of jobs.

Nashville, Charlotte, and Austin have had double digit increases.

According to the Birmingham Business Journal, (Metropolitan) “Birmingham is down about 19,100 jobs from its pre-recession peak.”

Much of the blame belongs to our racial divide–provoked by our fragmented government structure.

Angry blacks rail against white government Continue reading

Posted in Alabama Constitution, David Sher posts, Government structure, Race relations | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Birmingham hits a grand slam homerun!

Jeb Stewart

Jeb Stewart

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

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

Birmingham’s spirit as a comeback town has been well-reflected by the attendance last season at Regions Field, as the Barons set another record at the turnstiles.

The final attendance total was 444,639, making it second-highest regular season in franchise history behind the “Michael Jordan Year” of 1994 (467,867). 2015 also marked the third year in a row where the attendance topped the previous year.  Continue reading

Posted in Guest blogger, What's great about Birmingham | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Birmingham’s misfortune (and how we’re overcoming it)

Rickwood Field--the oldest baseball park in America

Rickwood Field–the oldest baseball park in America

Each year from 2002 to 2008 approximately 100 business and political leaders from Birmingham traveled to cities across the U.S.

The Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce BIG trips were designed to discover ideas that were successful in other cities that could be implemented here in Birmingham.

Much was learned, but every year we came home and lamented Birmingham’s stroke of misfortune.

Continue reading

Posted in Corporate community, David Sher posts, What's great about Birmingham | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

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