City Council Meeting Recap 6.23.20

On Saturday Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 participated in the Magic City Clean Up — Pride in the West Side event. Thank you to all the volunteers who came out to cleanup our neighborhoods and parks! You are what makes Birmingham so beautiful.

Here’s the video from today’s meeting:

Avondale Entertainment District

Following a public hearing, the Birmingham City Council unanimously voted to designate the 41st Street South area in Avondale as an entertainment district. The new ordinance is slated to go into effect July 1, 2020.

The designation is the fourth of its kind in Birmingham with Uptown being approved in 2015, Pepper Place being approved in 2018 and Five Points South in 2019. The boundaries of the entertainment district allow for open containers of alcohol to be carried outside of establishments, and in turn increase foot traffic in areas that are developed for music, restaurants and bars.

Currently, there are ten establishments that fall inside the footprint: Avondale Common House, 41st Street Pub and Aircraft Sales, Saturn, Post Office Pies, Saw’s Soul Kitchen, Fancy’s on Fifth, Marble Ring, Avondale Brewery, Luna Latin Cuisine, and Parkside.

Representatives with the Avondale Merchant’s Association were the only people to speak during today’s public hearing, and they voiced support for the new designation.

Councilor Hunter Williams, who chairs the Council’s Public Safety Committee, said entertainment districts in Birmingham have been overwhelmingly successful since their initial implementation.

“I’ve heard a lot of great reviews in the last three years since we started doing this,” Williams said. “All the vendors who are a part of the other entertainment districts in Birmingham have seen an increase in sales and foot traffic. It’s about improving the experience of not only those who live here, but those visiting from other cities. You can walk around with a drink, listen to music and just have a great time experiencing all that the area has to offer. Especially with the current health crisis, this allows for people to gather outside and not in confined indoor areas.”

Racial Injustice Historical Markers

Last September, the Jefferson County Memorial Project and Equal Justice Initiative unveiled a new marker at Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham to memorialize two of the county’s 30 documented lynching victims.

The Birmingham City Council voted to approve an Agreement with Greater Birmingham Ministries, who will work with the Jefferson County Memorial Project to install historical markers at One Pratt Park and Oak Hill Cemetery to memorialize Birmingham’s history of racial violence, like the one unveiled at Sloss Furnaces last year (pictured above).

The Jefferson County Memorial Project is a grassroots coalition. They are currently composed of more than 35 community partners and a multi-racial, multi-faith, multi-sector, and multi-generational group of committed volunteers.

Birmingham City Schools Funding

The Birmingham City Council approved a $1 Million Agreement with the Birmingham Board of Education. The funding will go towards providing school security measures and support for Birmingham City Schools’ athletic departments. This is the City’s budgeted appropriation for Birmingham City Schools. The City also provides an additional $2 Million towards the Birmingham Promise scholarship program for Birmingham City School students.

COVID-19 Testing Sites

Pride in the West Side Community Clean Up

Councilors Crystal Smitherman, Wardine Alexander, Steven Hoyt, and John Hilliard participated in the “Pride in the West Side” event on Saturday by devoting a day to cleaning up the community — and the impact that this kind of service can have on these residents is pretty powerful!

Tweets from The Birmingham City Council in Birmingham, Alabama