Tag: Birmingham City Council

Birmingham Spreading Word Against Human Trafficking Ahead of World Games

When the World Games comes to Birmingham in 2021, it’s projected to bring with it $256 million in economic impact, thanks to an estimated influx of 100,000 athletes and sports fans. But at Tuesday’s meeting of the Birmingham City Council, officials said they were working to prevent a potential unintended consequence of that influx: an uptick in human trafficking.

The council voted Tuesday to pass a resolution calling for a communitywide awareness campaign against human trafficking. The measure, spearheaded by District 6 Councilor Crystal Smitherman and Mayor Randall Woodfin, calls for “comprehensive education of (city) staff and the implementation and enforcement of a zero-tolerance policy of any act that may support human trafficking.” Read more.

New Birmingham Bold Funding Approved for Economic Development Projects, From Help for Small Businesses to Job Training for Single Mothers

The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to approve $680,949.46 in program funding for seven local organizations as part of Mayor Randall Woodfin’s Building Opportunities for Lasting Development initiative.

Adah International, the Birmingham Business Alliance, the Birmingham Business Resource Center, Jefferson State Community College, REV Birmingham, the Salvation Army, and the Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham were the beneficiaries in Bold’s second year, following approval of the program’s “inaugural class” last November.

Several of the projects will help small businesses, with a focus on women-owned, minority-owned and disadvantaged businesses, while others will support underprivileged mothers and children and help residents improve their work skills. Read more.

Alexander Retains Seat in Birmingham City Council District 7 Runoff

Despite strong opposition from challenger Ray Brooks, incumbent District 7 City Councilor Wardine Alexander appears to have retained her seat on the Birmingham City Council.

Alexander secured 869 votes compared to Brooks’ 751 votes, or 53.6% and 47.4% of the vote, respectively. That vote count does not include provisional ballots, which have yet to be tallied. Turnout in Tuesday’s election was 9.36%, according to the city clerk’s office. Read more.

Birmingham Council District 7 Up for Grabs in Today’s Runoff

Residents of Birmingham’s District 7 are heading to the polls today to choose their representative on the City Council.

The runoff election offers residents a choice of two candidates — incumbent Councilor Wardine Alexander and former Birmingham Fire Chief Ray Brooks — neither of whom were able to attain the 50% of the vote required to win outright in Oct. 9’s election. Read more.

Birmingham City Council Appoints New Design Review Committee Members After Tiff Over Vetting Candidates

The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to appoint three new members – Willie Oliver, Abra Barnes and Scott Burnett – to the city’s Design Review Committee, glossing over concerns that the appointees had not been properly vetted by the council’s Planning and Zoning Committee.

It was the apparent end of a weeks-long, often confusing discussion that started Oct. 22, when the council initially approved appointments to all 11 seats of the DRC. Read more.

Birmingham Council Chips in on East Lake Grocery Revamp as Part of Battle Against Food Deserts

Birmingham Council Chips in on East Lake Grocery Revamp as Part of Battle Against Food Deserts

The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to approve a slate of economic incentives for one East Lake grocery store, continuing the Woodfin administration’s pledge to work toward eliminating food deserts in the city.

Village Market, located at 7737 Second Ave. S., will receive up to $865,000 in incentives from the city, which will allow for “substantial improvements” in the store, “to include upgrades in the refrigeration and point-of-sale equipment, painting, rebuilding the cash office, adding new storefront signage, installing new shelving units, gondolas, replacing the motor room and providing additional security,” according to the meeting’s agenda.

The city will pay the first $200,000 of those incentives up front out of the city’s Healthy Food Fund. That fund, specifically focused on providing incentives to grocery stores, was created by the council in May and was initially allocated $500,000; Village Market is the first store to receive money from the fund. Read more.

City Allocates $4M in Emergency Funding to Rehab Ramsay-McCormack

Plans to renovate the long-derelict Ramsay-McCormack Building in Ensley are underway. The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to approve a $4 million plan that could have the building revitalized and open by August 2021, developers say.

The council’s decision comes just one day before a lawsuit against the city over the building’s renovation is slated to once again go before a judge.

The 10-story office building, which was built in 1929, has been empty since 1986.

Birmingham Council Elects Parker as New President

The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to appoint District 4 Councilor William Parker as its new president and District 7 Councilor Wardine Alexander as president pro tempore.

Parker takes over from District 3 Councilor Valerie Abbott, who had held the seat since October 2017.

The council’s vote was narrowly split between Parker and District 1 Councilor Clinton Woods, who had just been sworn into office after winning his first public election; he originally was appointed to the council in December.

Abbott and District 8 Councilor Steven Hoyt both jockeyed for the decisive vote, repeatedly asking the city clerk to pass over them until everyone else had voted. Read more.

One Birmingham City Council Seat Goes to a Runoff; Two Incumbents Returned to the Council

One Birmingham City Council seat will be up for a runoff after none of the candidates won more than 50 percent of the votes in Tuesday’s balloting. See full results here.

Wardine Towers Alexander will face Ray Brooks on Nov. 19 in a runoff for the council District 7 seat. Alexander won 42.41% of the vote to challenger Ray Brooks’ 30.88%.

Two other races were decided Tuesday. Crystal Smitherman will return as council District 6 councilor, having garnered 51.50% of the vote in a seven-candidate field. In the District 1 race, Clifton Woods will return to the council, with 71.27% of the vote in his district.

The three propositions to renew separate ad valorem taxes all passed by wide margins, with those voting yes in each race amounting to about 90%.

Reporting of full results was delayed until Wednesday because of an error in the handling of electronic machine memory cards at three different precincts.

The cards from the Martha Gaskins School, Robinson Elementary School and Five Points West precincts were sealed inside boxes that contained the paper ballots filled out by voters. Officials with the Birmingham City Clerk’s office had to get a court order Wednesday morning to allow them to open the box and add those votes to the total. Read more.

Birmingham Special Election Draws Crowded Candidate Field in District 6

Birmingham voters go to the polls Tuesday to elect council members in three districts. Turnout in the special election is expected to be low, but interest is high in District 6, an area that covers UAB, Titusville, and parts of west Birmingham.

That race has seven candidates — more than twice the number of the other contests. Residents say, there’s lots of work ahead for whoever wins the seat. Among the main issues, residents say, are eliminating blight and bringing quality retail shops and grocery stores to the area. Read more.