Birmingham City Council passes smoke-free Health District and Birmingham Promise

UAB
UAB Hospital. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.

The Birmingham City Council had a busy day on Tuesday passing  several initiatives, including the establishment of a smoke-free Health District and Birmingham Promise, an initiative which will create post-secondary opportunities and apprenticeships for Birmingham City School students.

Birmingham’s Smoke-Free Health District

17t1WUneps tlEsuHJPuX8g Birmingham City Council passes smoke-free Health District and Birmingham Promise
Map from the Birmingham City Council

Following a public hearing, the Birmingham City Council unanimously passed an ordinance establishing a smoke-free Health District that encompasses the densely-used hospitals and health centers on Birmingham’s Southside.

The effort to create the Health District was led by health-focused organizations that will be within the designated area, including Children’s of Alabama, Cooper Green Mercy Health Services, Jefferson County Department of Health, Southern Research, University of Alabama at Birmingham and UAB Medicine, and Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

How Does It Work?

In a nutshell, the new ordinance prohibits smoking on public rights of way  within the newly-established district boundaries. Anyone who violates the parameters set forth in the ordinance could be subject to a fine.

According to a city council news release, the ordinance will not impact smoking in vehicles or within residences that otherwise allow smoking. Businesses that fall within the boundaries will have the ability to designate smoking areas on their property that are not on public rights of way.

These new changes will go into effect on December 1, 2019.

Birmingham Promise, Inc.

Birmingham Alabama
Photo by Larry O. Gay

In another major move, the Birmingham City Council agreed to fund one of Mayor Randall Woodfin’s signature education initiatives, Birmingham Promise, at the October 15th meeting.

According to a news release from the Mayor’s Office, Birmingham Promise will receive $2 million from the City of Birmingham every year for five years under a project agreement that received final approval from the Birmingham City Council. The agreement lays the foundation to implement the Birmingham Promise Initiative which will create post-secondary opportunities and apprenticeships for Birmingham City School students

“This is a major step in our commitment to workforce development and creating new opportunities for our students,” Mayor Randall Woodfin said. “The Birmingham Promise exists to ensure that every student that walks across the high school graduation stage has a pathway to a quality job, and every employer in a high-growth industry establishes a talent pipeline.”

Next Up  – Ensley Development

Ramsay McCormack building in Ensley Birmingham City Council passes smoke-free Health District and Birmingham Promise
Photo Credit: Bhamwiki.com

On the docket for the Council’s October 22nd meeting – revitalization of downtown Ensley’s Ramsay-McCormack building.

Earlier this week, a  joint meeting of the Birmingham City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee and Economic Development Committee approved Ensley District Developers, LLC, to lead the effort.

The development agreement will now go before the full council for a vote.

How to Follow the City Council

If you are interested in following Birmingham city government, we highly recommend you check out the city council’s Facebook page.  The council live streams most meetings and is open to input.  The Mayor’s Office Facebook page is also invaluable.

 

Default image
Pat Byington
Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.
Articles: 1849