Today the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham hosted the State of the City Address with Mayor Randall Woodfin. We had an opportunity to attend virtually. Keep reading to find out what Birmingham’s plans for 2022 are.
“We all face the same issues. [The city] talks about them so we all can collectively solve them as a unit. We’ve done a lot in 2020—as well as 2021—but there is more to do in in 2022. We’ll continue to go after low hanging fruit to bring us together.”Mayor Woodfin
1. Economic Growth
Some good news. Mayor Woodfin said today that the influx of federal resources—through the pandemic relief packages—has helped Birmingham’s finances.
Progress has been made in solving pension funds and the credit has improved.
Another huge benefit for solving our budget issue is from revenue made through tourism. Check out some of the things he said have helped boost Birmingham’s economy:
- Grand opening of Protective Stadium: home to the UAB Blazers and Legion FC
- Birmingham Squadrons debut
- Upcoming USFL Bimingham Stallions
- Legacy Arena’s facelift
2. Neighborhood Revitalization
Woodfin stated that the money made from Birmingham’s attractions like the Squadrons and Protective Stadium feeds directly into neighborhood revitalization efforts.
He added that this past year the city invested $14 million into restoring our infrastructure. Some examples include:
- 20 miles of street resurfacing occured just in 2021
- blight removal
- roughly 800 potholes in our roads have been repaired
- A.G. Gaston restoration project
The mayor described that another effort to help our neighborhoods has been investing in the Birmingham Xpress BRT Project, which connects 25 neighborhoods with reliable and efficient transportation. It’s the only one like it in the entire southeast, added Woodfin.
3. Birmingham Promise
As we all know, the Birmingham Promise is one of Woodfin’s cornerstone projects. He’s called it a “game-changer” for students here in the city. Thanks to Bloomberg Philanthropies, this competitive program brought $1.8 million to our city.
Birmingham Promise initiative provides tuition assistance for Birmingham City School grads attending public colleges in Alabama. It also has an internship and apprenticeship program where high school seniors can gain work experience while earning money and academic credit.
Here is what the program has accomplished:
- 800 BCS students recieved tuttion or coaching
- 250 gained apprentice experience
- $1.7 million wents towards tuition
4. Investing in New Developments
Woodfin highlighted a number of new developments.
- Ramsay McCormack building construction contunines
- Former Ensley High School transformation into a 224-home + mixed used development
- $25 million has been invested in Oak Hill housing at Bellview Heights
This is just a taste of what’s coming to the city—check out what developments Bham Now is excited about this year.
5. Make Hope Tangible
Woodfin concluded that he wants to invest in the future, reimagine public safety and renew our commitment to the infrastructure.
To sum it up, Mayor Woodfin wants to make Birmingham a city where you can grow a small business and live comfortably in our historic neighborhoods.
What are your thoughts on the State of the City Address? Let us know by tagging us @bhamnow.