Newsroom

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Newsroom 2018-07-26T15:28:17+00:00

Newsroom

Better together?

Compared to national averages, Birmingham is lagging behind in growth for population, jobs and overall economic development. But when comparing data about Birmingham and other U.S. cities, it has to be asked: which Birmingham? There’s the downtown core and the city of Birmingham itself. There are 35 municipalities in Jefferson County alone. Read more …

Jefferson County mayors seek common ground, regional impact

If you’ve lived in Jefferson County any length of time, you’ve probably heard the complaints: We’re too divided, we have too many cities, we compete when we should cooperate. In my opinion, the complaints aren’t totally justified. But could our mayors play a bigger role in identifying and partnering on other big issues that affect us all? It’s something I’d like for mayors to explore. Read more …

Mayor Roundtable: Opportunities for boosting regional cooperation

At the Birmingham Business Journal’s Executives of Influence event, Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato, Vestavia Hills Mayor Ashley Curry, Bessemer Mayor Kenneth Gulley, Gardendale Mayor Stan Hogeland, Mountain Brook Mayor Stewart Welch, and Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin reflected on what is currently succeeding in their communities, opportunities for regional cooperation and more. Read more …

Birmingham’s metro area could learn about cooperation from U.S. military 

As a military officer, if I were leading an invading army intent on attacking the Southern United States, Birmingham would be an early target. I say this often, and I mean it as a great compliment. When I look at metro Birmingham, I see infrastructure that is eye-watering — assets I’d want to neutralize and/or capture if I were at war. Read more …

Birmingham is made of grit and charm

One of my favorite things about Birmingham is that it’s a big small town. We have big city amenities but the charm and grit of a small town. My wife and I are both Birmingham natives and have stayed in the Birmingham area our entire married lives. We celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary this year. Our children also attended college here. Read more …

Birmingham needs to be a place where firms can find steady growth

Last week’s Cover Story focused on the legal field, but the truth is, it could have applied to any number of major industries. The focus of the story was how Birmingham-based law firms were expanding their footprints – often due to the lack of growth in the local economy. It’s a trend we’ve seen with law firms, accounting firms and construction companies, among many others.  Read more …

Governments eye partnership on upgrades at Liberty Park

Vestavia Hills, Birmingham and Jefferson County are looking to partner on an infrastructure initiative at Liberty Park. Vestavia Hills City Council recently voted to team with the other two governments on a capital planning cooperative district to expand Liberty Parkway in support of growth at the area’s commercial district, reports the Vestavia Voice.  Read more …

Mountain Brook, Hoover, Homewood, Vestavia Hills show leadership

I was flipping through Over The Mountain Journal, when I saw the headline, “Hitting on all cylinders — Mountain Brook Mayor Welch lays out his plans for 2018.” Stewart Welch discussed his efforts to help Mountain Brook merchants and restaurants, then said that four over-the-mountain mayors meet quarterly to discuss how to work with one another.  Read more …

Seven decades later, Birmingham’s still having the same conversation

“(Birmingham’s future) does not lie in a patchwork of small incorporated towns, each with its own interests …” That quote sounds like something you might have heard in connection with the Together We Prosper initiative to boost regional collaboration. But it’s not where we found it. That quote is actually from a news article from 1949. Read more …

It’s not rocket science: Birmingham doesn’t have to be the joker

John Archibald recently called Birmingham a joker compared to King Huntsville and Queen Mobile. While you might not like the insult, the underlying message is one our metro area should not ignore. Birmingham is on track to be eclipsed by Huntsville as Alabama’s largest city. This is a blow to our civic pride, no doubt, but it reflects far deeper issues affecting our entire metro area. Read more …

Huntsville is king, Mobile queen and Birmingham just a joker

Alabama cheered – as it should have — when Toyota-Mazda chose to bring its 4,000 jobs to Huntsville. It was a coronation of sorts. Hail to the king! Because it’s clear now. No excuses or debates. Huntsville is economic development royalty, Alabama’s head that wears the crown. Read more …

How 2018 could be the best year ever for Birmingham (but probably won’t)

Theoretically speaking, the start of a new year should be one of the most optimistic times of the year. On Jan. 1, anything is possible. It’s a time for planning, resolutions and thinking about what you or your organization could accomplish over the next 12 months. It generally doesn’t take long for that optimism to come face to face with realism. Read more …

Terrified of metro government? Here’s a better idea

“Metro Government” has become a mantra for some citizens while others are terrified of the thought of giving up their smaller, responsive local governments. Consequently, “Metro Government” is a concept unlikely to be achieved among Jefferson County’s 35 municipalities. Perhaps we should discuss voluntary “Regional Cooperation” among County municipalities, the Office of Sheriff, and the Jefferson County Commission. Read more …

Reduced fragmentation brings prosperity for communities, chamber speaker says 

The Homewood Chamber of Commerce heard Nov. 15 from Daxko CEO Dave Gray, who spoke about a new Community Foundation initiative, Together We Prosper. Gray said that, between 2000 and 2016, Birmingham’s metro area has experienced job growth of only 0.24 percent. Improving prosperity is the goal of Together We Prosper. Read more …

Can Birmingham’s metro area work together better and improve prosperity for all?

Together We Prosper author Thomas Spencer joins Midfield Mayor Gary Richardson and WBHM 90.3 journalists Andrew Yeager and Sherrel Stewart to discuss the opportunities and the barriers to more regional cooperation in metro Birmingham. Listen to the conversation …

Nashville’s mayor talk illustrates the difference between Birmingham and the Music City

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry made one thing clear multiple times during her speech that definitely applies to Birmingham: Nashville has been successful in large part because of regional cooperation. Read more …

Birmingham needs regional vision to thrive in the future

Innovators and entrepreneurs are key to a community’s economic success, and they will be even more critical in the future.  These changes require cities and counties to think differently about what it means to attract investment and jobs.  Today, “economic development” means creating an environment where entrepreneurs and innovators can flourish — and where they want to live, work and play. Read more …

The most important issue in Birmingham’s mayoral race

Birmingham is undoubtedly facing a number of complex challenges. Poverty and crime are too high. Education must improve. Population and job growth has lagged behind other major Southeastern cities. Key gaps in the workforce must be addressed. But, from our perspective, the most pressing issue in this year’s mayor’s race is not listed above. Instead, it’s regional cooperation. Read more …

Four mayors meet to discuss over-the-mountain issues

At the end of the last election, Vestavia Hills, Mountain Brook and Hoover were left with new mayors: Ashley Curry, Stewart Welch and Frank Brocato, respectively. Scott McBrayer remained in Homewood. What started out as a casual conversation among the mayors  turned into the Over the Mountain Mayors Group, which will meet quarterly to address issues that affect all four cities. Read more …

Huntsville headlines should raise eyebrows in Birmingham

The headline from one of our recent Morning Editions didn’t read quite like a warning alarm on its own: “Funding for $42 million Von Braun Center expansion approved.” But, if you’re concerned about Birmingham’s long-term status in the state, it’s the latest in a series of headlines from the BBJ and others that should raise eyebrows. Read more …

Most vital issue in Birmingham’s mayoral race? Hint: It’s not potholes

For almost a year, the vibe around the race to become Birmingham’s next mayor was more like the collegial, pre-race atmosphere at a NASCAR event. The combatants casually rolled into the fray–some sooner, some later. Read more …

The dirty little secret about Birmingham’s recent success

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from Nick Saban’s famed “Process,” it’s the danger of complacency and getting comfortable with success. It’s a danger with football teams coming off a championship. Read more …

Jeffrey Bayer challenges Birmingham

I’ve always loved Birmingham…but quite frankly I’m disappointed. I’m not talking about just the City of Birmingham—I’m talking about all of Birmingham—yes, all cities and counties. Read More…

Fiefdoms, fragmentation and flat growth: Inside the bold bid to transform Birmingham

An in-depth look at the new initiative to improve regional cooperation in Birmingham. Read More…

Reckon by AL.com

Visitors to Birmingham’s thriving bars and downtown eateries probably think the city is doing just fine. Here’s why that may not be the case. Read More…

Denver, Charlotte offer lessons for Birmingham on regional cooperation

A look at what the Magic City can learn from other metros that addressed their regional cooperation challenges. Read More…

Why Birmingham still ranks last, and how to fix it

A few points about 24/7 Wall Street ranking Birmingham as the second-worst city in America. Read More…

Regional Cooperation Leads To Job Growth, Overall Prosperity, Says Report

The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham (CFGB) last week released the results of a yearlong research project that highlights opportunities for greater regional cooperation across Jefferson County. Read More…

Birmingham has lost population, prominence due to fragmentation of government: Study

A new study shows the fragmentation of government in Jefferson County has caused a decline in Birmingham’s prominence and its ability to lead the region. Read More…

Time to finally take action on regional cooperation

One of the most interesting insights from last week’s Cover Story on the latest bid for regional cooperation was an anecdote shared by the Together We Prosper initiative about a meeting with a local mayor. Read More…

Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham Calls for regional cooperation

Historically, the Birmingham metro area is considered one of the most fragmented in the South, with 35 municipalities in Jefferson County alone. Read More…

ROD GUAJARDO: United approach to community development blueprint for success

Together we prosper. That’s the message behind a recently launched campaign in Birmingham, Alabama, seeking to buck a trend of fragmentation in the heart of the city and surrounding communities. Read More…

New report explores solutions for Birmingham’s fragmentation

The fragmented nature of metro Birmingham – with its dozens of municipal governments and competing interests – has long been cited by business leaders as an obstacle to long-term prosperity. Read More…

New report says Birmingham metro area has had almost zero job growth since 2000

Regional cooperation in the greater Birmingham area is a conversation that comes up time and time again. Now a new report quantifies the effects of not having regional cooperation.  Read More…

New Report: Lack of Regional Cooperation Hinders Birmingham’s Growth

Birmingham has had tremendous growth over the last decade, but it pales in comparison to other major cities in the region. The city has seen just .24 percent growth in average annual employment since 2000. Read More…

We need to have a tough conversation…

It’s time for a tough conversation about Birmingham. I know that we have been putting this off for a while, but time is running out. Read More…

Why this successful Birmingham CEO wants to see more regional cooperation

Increased regional cooperation is an idea that is possible and potentially prosperous for metro Birmingham. Read More…

Tom Spencer of PARCA.MOV (Video)