Tag: City of Birmingham

Nonprofits Adapt to Harsh Financial Conditions After Birmingham Budget Cuts

The FY 2021 budget passed Tuesday night by the Birmingham City Council contains a number of austerity measures stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, which since March has stymied the local economy and caused the city’s business tax revenue to plunge.

The budget, which was approved by the council with no changes to Mayor Randall Woodfin’s original proposal, is nearly $50 million smaller than last year’s and cuts the city’s contributions to schools, libraries and public transit, among other departments.

Some of those changes have proven controversial, but other cuts — particularly those to external nonprofit organizations such as the Birmingham Zoo, Jones Valley Teaching Farm and Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve — went largely unquestioned even by opponents of Woodfin’s budget.

Leaders of those nonprofits say they were unsurprised by the cuts, and even before the budget’s passage they appeared resigned to the loss. Instead, faced with their own significant budget shortfalls, those organizations are adapting to survive a hostile, post-COVID landscape. Read more.

Birmingham Contemplates Privatizing or Automating Garbage Pick Up

Mayor Randall Woodfin urged councilors to consider either automating or outsourcing Birmingham’s garbage pickup program during a special-called meeting of the City Council Thursday night, arguing that it is unsustainable in its current form.

In a joint presentation with the city’s public works, legal and finance departments, Woodfin called for the city to either “engage an experienced refuse management service” or to “automate the city’s refuse collection fleet by purchasing 20 side loaders and adding tipper (trucks) to (the) existing fleet.”

Both options would provide significant cost savings to the city amid an economic crisis brought on by COVID-19, he said, though he added that the need for change predated the pandemic. Read more.

Woodfin Says He Received Death Threats After Removal of Monument

Responding to questions this morning on the NBC Today show, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said he received death threats in response to his order to take down a Confederate monument in the wake of destructive protests Sunday night.

“Unfortunately, in the state of Alabama, there’s a lot of people who like to participate in revisionist history,” Woodfin said, speaking with host Al Roker. “They believe it’s American to support the Civil War as relates to these competitive monuments. They’re mad because we took the statue down and, yes, there have been several threats.
Read more.

Curfews Imposed Across Birmingham Area Over Protests

Birmingham finished removing the base of the Confederate monument in Linn Park this morning after working for more than 24 hours to take down the structure that had become a lightning rod for racial protest in the city.

Mayor Randall Woodfin agreed to remove the monument after a crowd of protestors were drawn to the park Sunday night to try to topple it. They covered it in graffiti and chipped out chunks of it, along with taking down another statue and defacing two more. As they left the park, they set small fires and smashed windows of some downtown businesses.

In reaction, Birmingham and other cities on Tuesday declared and extended curfews aimed at shutting down such violent protests.

Woodfin announced he was expanding the city’s curfew, covering the period of 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., to include a 24-hour prohibition on “gatherings, parades, marches and demonstrations … on any public property or public street.” The Jefferson County Commission also issued a curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. through June 9, affecting unincorporated areas of the county and any cities that want to apply it. Read more.

More stories on the protests in Birmingham:
Jefferson County Sets Curfew to Curb Violence
Confederate Monument Taken Down in Linn Park
Birmingham Mayor Sets out Curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Cleanup Begins After Looting Damages Downtown Birmingham Businesses
Birmingham Protestors Vandalize Downtown Buildings, Try to Take Down Confederate Monument
Protesters Gather in Birmingham to Honor George Floyd