City of Birmingham trains citizen leaders, launches online directory listing 120 boards, agencies and commissions

Bham Now City of Birmingham
Bham Now City of Birmingham
Photo of Mayor Woodfin by Kara Kennedy, Bham Now

Birmingham is full of people who want to help Birmingham continue to become the best it can possibly be, which was evident with the over 150 people who attended an introductory orientation session yesterday at City Hall.  Mayor Randall Woodfin and City Councilor Valerie Abbott opened the session by stating “they were looking for talented people who wanted to serve in the best interest of Birmingham.”

Serving Your City

Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Earl Hilliard, Jr. told Bham Now that the mayor’s office put out the call a few weeks ago, asking those interested in serving as servant leaders to sign up for and attend yesterday’s orientation program.

Bham Now City of Bham
Photo of Earl Hilliard, Jr., Mayor Woodfin and Councilor Valerie Abbott by Kara Kennedy

“We expected 50-60 people to sign up, however, we had an overwhelming response to our call-to-action with over 150 signing up with another 40-50 on a waiting list, to learn more about how they could serve.”  

Bham Now City of Bham
Photo of Shannon Ammons, Executive Director, Alabama Nonprofit Association courtesy of the Alabama Nonprofit Association

Executive Director of the Alabama Association of Nonprofits Shannon Ammons took attendees through the three-hour informational orientation to explain what board service meant. The program served as an introduction to the basic roles and responsibilities of board members, ethics laws, ethical expectations, principles of governance and the practices of servant leadership.  

Photo of Mayor Woodfin courtesy of Daniel Roth, City of Birmingham Mayor’s Office

While campaigning, Woodfin promised that opportunities for the public to serve would be available.

“Making appointments to boards and agencies is one of the most important and influential powers the mayor and city council possess. Ensuring we are appointing people to boards with a clear understanding of their fiduciary role is absolutely vital,” Woodfin said.

“The Mayor’s Office places a clear expectation on understanding our mission of ‘Putting People First’ and our core values of customer service, efficiency, effectiveness, accountability and transparency. We need to have the same expectations for our board members.” 

Enhanced Transparency

In addition to the orientation program, Birmingham has launched the first-ever web-based directory listing all active boards, agencies and commissions affiliated with the city as part of part of an ongoing process to enhance transparency and accountability of the more than 120 boards, agencies and commissions which provide governance of public entities and services in the city.

Bham Now, Sloss Tech
Photo of Mayor Randall Woodfin courtesy of the Birmingham Mayor’s office
First-Ever Directory

In a press release from the mayor’s office, the online directory at www.birminghamal.gov/boards-and-agencies lists all city-affiliated boards, agencies and commissions, their functions, current members and term lengths. This digitally-accessible tool will also present users the option to apply for vacant board positions online. This is the first time a comprehensive list of all boards, agencies, and commissions has been made readily available for Birmingham residents.

Birmingham, Alabama, Linn Park, Adamson Ford
Trebor, Kala and having a little fun while volunteering at Serve Day at Birmingham’s Linn Park. Photo submitted

“People want to be involved with the city and they just didn’t know how,” Hilliard said. “Mayor Woodfin opening up in these transparent and accountability situations allows community members to be involved directly.”

Bham Now City of Birmigham
Photo courtesy of Keep Birmingham Beautiful

Currently, the Keep Birmingham Beautiful Commission (KBB) and Land Bank Authority have vacancies and are accepting applications via the online portal.