Saturday, October 06, 2007

Birmingham, In My Own Words

I love my city.

Some might think I don’t. Funny I mention that - since I sometimes feel like I overlook the peeps here (but for really good reasons) and have recently made decisions on to become a more broader, global-outreach community and not to single out the viewing audience from other locations in the world. Most will remember I had a section on the site months ago that focused only on events in my hometown - but decided to incorporate any events of serious magnitude within the national events. But I really have grown to love my community, my birthplace, my home. I always had a heart for it, but I’ve seen it flourish and grow over the last couple of years (even when many skeptics said the “Magic” in the City did an “abracadabra”). And it’s a growth I have accepted and have embraced with great respect and dignity.

Now, for those that don’t believe me and really want to make this blog a laughing matter - let me prove my point in this paragraph. There’s more to Birmingham than historic dates within the Civil Rights holiday calendar. We have a flourishing entertainment community that has grown in leaps and bounds - and the nightlife on the town is something to see. We are proud of businesses and social outlets like WorkPlay and Bottletree - pushing excellence into the mainstream with a down-home, local approach. We have new commercial business and corporations seeking to make Birmingham home and we have kept a large number of our industry neighbors within the city limits. New expansions of the Summit have kept our attention and the gorgeous, new look of Eastwood Village - scheduled to open on October 22 - is an event we all are anticipating to partake of. Old buildings that many condemned for its demise like the City Federal and the old Cabana Hotel have been resurrected with mighty power as extravagant lofts and renovated condominiums. The Birmingham News - the state’s largest newspaper - has a gorgeous building to shout about. Then there’s the new FBI Field Office building - a neat addition to the city’s landscape - and the $100 million, eight-story, state-of-the-art, environment-friendly Social Security Administration building (that is almost completed). The Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, on the University of Alabama Birmingham campus, is also a flagship center of attention for the arts and continues to feed the community with its large, universal popularity. And then add to the mix a culture that is flooded with greatness and attitude including the progressive Southside (Five Points South) area and the renaissance in the Five Points West area. And with the large expansion of the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) - set to include a up-scale entertainment district and lucrative dining - and the welcoming of both the five-star Renaissance Hotel into the downtown area and another quality hotel to be placed on the Southside, the people of Birmingham should have a lot to be grateful for.

But are we fellow Birminghamians really grateful?

Others around us are suffering and when they said that misery loves company, that it does. That misery has crept into Birmingham politics and has turned the city’s mayoral race into a circus full of division. And that’s because the heart of our local political body has now bubbled into a amalgamation of mutated, self-absorbed soothsayers. Just say the magic words and act like you can preach a lil’ while and you already have an audience aiming to be faithful.

Not that I hate the idea that so many are now trying to take the mayor’s seat...I just despise the idea that so many candidates are only taking the position seriously because they see an opportunity and have failed to make important strides of success to impact their community. I see Birmingham as a promising territory that has grown in large proportions and have once again made a name for ourselves. Most of the credit concerning the great things that have come from the area must be forwarded to the great people that live here. They have made it all possible...but let’s also recognize that we have a great leader and visionary in position and now that the city’s councilors have cooperated with him, we have seen a great deal of progress with our very eyes. I would hate if we decided to make one wrong move to loose everything we’ve gained.

The future of Birmingham looms and falls on one day - October 9, 2007. We will see who will take this great city forward in hopes to make it brighter and better. All I know is Mayor Bernard Kincaid has done an incredible job during his tenure as mayor. All of the accomplishments mentioned, without a lick of scandal or increases of taxes, were all possible because of the Mayor’s leadership and wisdom. I would seriously hope that the people of my hometown won’t let me down. We’ve come too far to turn around now. One bad move and we just might have to say “abracadabra” once and for all.

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