Press Releases

Birmingham City Council Preparing to Hold Joint Meeting with Area Legislators to Discuss the Upcoming Legislative Session

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                   Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Contact: Brittany Sharp

Phone: 205-721-5369

brittany.sharp@birminghamal.gov

BIRMINGHAM, AL – In preparation for the upcoming session of the Alabama Legislature, the Birmingham City Council is again calling together elected and public officials to discuss a shared vision for Birmingham in 2017. In a meeting set for today, January 10, at 2pm at Regions Field, the Council will unveil the city’s proposed annual legislative agenda to State Representatives and Senators, Jefferson County Commissioners and leaders of several local boards and agencies.

“Birmingham’s economy is driving growth for Jefferson County, the metropolitan area and the state of Alabama,” Council President Johnathan Austin said. “We are committed to expanding and boosting that growth so all of the residents of our great city benefit, and so Birmingham can continue to be the economic engine for the entire state. While we join every city, county and town in the state in calling for more local control, the outdated 1901 Alabama Constitution still concentrates power in Montgomery. As a result, we look forward to continue working closely with the Jefferson County legislative delegation and our other partners who have been elected or appointed to provide leadership in our community.”

The city’s proposed legislative agenda is a compendium of issue items vital to Birmingham’s future, including:

  • Funding for K-12 and higher education that could strengthen the Birmingham City Schools, the University of Alabama-Birmingham, as well as Lawson State and Jefferson State Community Colleges
  • Making permanent the Historic Preservation Tax Credits that have jumpstarted huge projects including the renovation of the Lyric Theatre, the Pizitz building, and the Thomas Jefferson Towers, among others, and could possibly serve an accelerator in the restoration of the Ramsay McCormick building in Ensley
  • Full funding of Medicaid, to protect the stability of the City’s world class hospitals, and the primary care physicians and nursing homes vital to families in our community
  • Economic development incentives to make the City competitive with other major urban areas across the country in recruiting major industries
  • Support for public transportation, including mass transit and railways

“There is no question, significant differences exist between the Council and a few elected officials outside of Birmingham,” President Austin said. “Quite frankly, I was very disappointed in the patronizing tone of a letter that the Council recently received from a member of the Jefferson County Commission. Still, it is incumbent upon us that we look past that and focus on the big picture. That means we need to carry the message that a growing Birmingham is good for everyone – but, everyone has a responsibility in making that a reality.”

The Legislature will convene for its regular annual session on February 7, 2017.

For media inquiries please contact Birmingham City Council Director of Public Information Brittany Sharp at 205.721.5369.