Press Releases

Birmingham City Councilors Take a Stand Against DMV Closings in the State of Alabama

‘Injustice any where is a threat to justice everywhere’ were the sentiments of what elected officials, leaders and constituents shared with the Greater Birmingham community on the recent notification that over 30 Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) offices will be closing in the state of Alabama.

Eight of the DMVs closed in the state are located within the poorest counties. Data also shows that those counties have populations of at least 75 percent African Americans. This closing will largely hinder over a quarter of a million citizens from obtaining proper credentials when voting and ultimately cause many to travel hundreds of miles to receive their driver’s licenses.

Birmingham City Council President Johnathan Austin was disappointed to learn of the closings and said the Birmingham City Council is supportive of any measure that will reverse this decision or provide viable options to all citizens who will be affected.

“As a Council, we have to prepare our communities to help take a stand to subtle injustices like this,” Council President Austin said. “I am committed to stand with our citizens as well as work with the leaders in Montgomery to find alternative solutions.”

Governor Robert Bentley recently met in Montgomery with Civil Rights Activist Reverend Jessie Jackson along with Alabama Representative Merika Coleman-Evans and the P.U.S.H coalition. Their meeting follows a press conference that was held last week in Birmingham to discuss efforts to urge the Justice Department to evaluate and correct the decision to close the DMVs.

This week Birmingham City Councilors will vote on a resolution in support of reopening the DMVs. Councilor Sheila Tyson will also hit the ground with community activists to rally more supporters against the closings and to help fight for the rights of citizens everywhere. For more information on Councilor Tyson’s itinerary for this week, please contact District 6 Committee Assistant Brandon McCray at 205.254.2359.

This article is a contribution from Chiara Perry (chiara.perry@birminghamal.gov) in the Birmingham City Council Public Information Office. For more information please contact 205.254.2294.