Birmingham City Councilors Took Concerns of the Community to Capitol Hill and Addressed Local Needs in Federal Budget
What an exciting week on Capitol Hill as Council President Pro Tem Steven Hoyt joined forces with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) to push against proposed cuts in the federal budget to essential programs such as Meals on Wheels, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting health and improving quality of life for the nation’s most vulnerable seniors. Council Pro Tem Hoyt attended the NCRC Annual Conference to strategize a concise economic framework plan to improve the lives of working class families and create affordable housing and job development opportunities. The NCRC conference came on the culmination of the Five Points West Community-Framework Implementation Planning meeting where community leaders worked to reorganize strategies on community and economic development, as well as address environmental and blight issues among others.
That same week, Councilor Sheila Tyson brought twelve young ladies representing the Student Government Association from Parker and Wenonah High Schools to participate in five days of symposiums at the Sixth Annual Black Women Roundtable (BWR) Summit in Washington D.C., where they learned the importance of entrepreneurship, issues of economic security and prosperity, income inequality and how they can contribute to solutions through civic engagement. Students launched into their first day of enrichment and arrived early to a press conference on Capitol Hill with Councilor Tyson as they joined several members of Congress, and national community leaders from across the nation to voice their concerns on federal budget cuts. Later that afternoon, students also met with state representatives to discuss issues in their communities and learned what policies and proposed funding is in place to address each of them.
Council Pro Tem Hoyt said he couldn’t be more motivated to advocate for citizens on a national level and push for balanced funding in the federal budget. “We have an opportunity to impact change by working with other local, state and federal policy makers across the country and learn about the concerns that are at the forefront of community efforts,” Councilor Hoyt said. “Through organized efforts of coalitions, such as the NCRC and the BWR that help us prepare tactics towards solutions, we can then structure local policies to defend the causes and concerns of our citizens.”
About the NCRC Conference and BWR National Summit
NCRC and leaders from business, government, community non-profits, media and academia met in Washington, D.C. for cutting edge dialogue and hands-on training, workshops, plenaries, and topical sessions on issues affecting America’s communities. This event is the largest national gathering of community non-profits, policymakers, government officials, small businesses, media, and academia–all focused on how together we can create a more just economic framework to improve the lives of American families, our workers, our older adults, our children and our environment, while strengthening global access to credit and capital. For nonprofit executives and practitioners, the conference is an opportunity to learn about successful strategies used in other communities, to understand how non-traditional solutions can address existing and emerging concerns, and to exchange ideas with colleagues from across the country. Topics will include community efforts to ensure consumer protection and responsible banking and lending, economic revitalization, workforce development strategies, how to use data for advocacy, and addressing the needs of older adults.
The BWR National Summit began over six years ago with only a few women collaborating in Washington D.C. to advance issues of importance to African- American families and the communities they serve. Since then, the highly anticipated symposium has blossomed into nearly 300 women and girls who faithfully descend upon our Nation’s Capital prepared to sustain, overcome and take action against the challenges concerning health and humanity, education, politics and perspectives, entrepreneurship and technology and change agents.
This article is a contribution from Chiara Perry (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Birmingham City Council Public Information Office. For more information please contact 205.254.2294.