Here’s a video from the meeting:
And here’s a recap of some of the items the City Council discussed by the Council:
ITEM 1: Healthy Food Ordinance
In a unanimous vote, the Birmingham City Council passed an ordinance that addresses multiple zoning issues related to the accessibility of healthy food and produce throughout the city.
The ordinance establishes overlay boundaries that will prevent new dollar stores from operating within one mile of a grocery store. These discount stores offer little to no healthy food options and often prevent grocery stores from operating in a community because they divert customers and revenue. As a state, Alabama ranks in the top five with most dollar stores per capita, which are heavily saturated in low-income and majority-black communities.
The ordinance also loosens restrictions on parking and square footage requirements for grocery stores, which is often a prohibitive issue with grocers looking to open a store in the city. In an effort the increase the impact of community and urban gardens, the ordinance also increases the amount of compost that is allowed to be stored on-site while also allowing for the sale of produce to residents.
Here is some more information about what the ordinance does to improve healthy food access in Birmingham:
ITEM 16: Funding for apprenticeship opportunities
Birmingham is one of eight communities chosen from a pool of 220 to receive $150,000 in grant funding from the New America Foundation in order to increase the number of apprenticeship opportunities in Birmingham City Schools.
The Partnership of Advance Youth Apprenticeship program is a highly regarded organization that helps fund and develop apprenticeship opportunities for the nation’s youth. These apprenticeships are career oriented and equitable and the grant money will allow the city to expand on the pilot program that was launched this summer with the 23 students who were selected.
Through these apprenticeships, the city’s youth will be able to have more opportunities to get on a path to economic stability and have access to professional mentorships. Students will also get to learn about occupations within certain industries and how they can pursue a career after high school.
The grant money will be used to increase the city’s capacity to coordinate with employers, community colleges and Birmingham City Schools. The money will also be used to partner with BSC to provide transportation for students and for technical support to allow for more data sharing to better evaluate success rates and see what practices are working and where improvements can be made.
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
8:30 a.m. — Joint Planning and Zoning Committee and Special Called Committee of the Whole Meeting — 5th Floor Conference Room
1:30 p.m. — 3:00 p.m. — Police & Fire Supplemental Pension Plan Board Meeting — Conference Room “A”
Thursday, July 11, 2019
2:30 p.m. — Agenda Meeting — Conference Room “A”