Wade on Birmingham

Wade on 2009: The year of Birmingham’s undoing


Bad craziness.

That was the all-purpose phrase my college roommate used to describe the odd goings-on of life. And for Birmingham in 2009, it is all too fitting.

The city’s casualties of 2009 include a crooked mayor, three magazines, the high school football playoffs, the city budget, the county budget, trust in elected officials, two music festivals, thousands of jobs,

In many ways, Birmingham is broken. Education, transportation, the economy and government continue to be hurdles to greatness. How can this city make progress if it can’t pay its bills, educate its citizens, move shoppers and workers from point to point or inspire residents to take action?

It is also broken in the sense that no one community unites us. We are tribes at odds over territory, pride or mistrust. But who will reach out first to end the stalemate?

That’s not to overlook the efforts of volunteers striving to make a difference. Or businesses who remain stubbornly open and within the city limits. Or the occasional bright spot that reminds us of why we stick with Birmingham even in these dark hours.

Would the city make a New Year’s resolution, it should simply be this: Birmingham resolves to deal honestly and fairly with any and all challenges.

In a year of bad craziness, we must push past to face these mounting crises with boldness, with insight and with humility.

Birmingham can be better in 2010, if only a little bit.

Wade on 2009


2 Yips for “Wade on 2009: The year of Birmingham’s undoing”

  1. Rachel @ Grasping for Objectivity
    Saturday, January 2, 2010, 6:11 pm

    I seriously hope that 2010 is a better year for Birmingham…but then again, how could it not be?

  2. Wade
    Sunday, January 3, 2010, 12:24 pm

    I believe that’s what citizens said at the start of 2009, and 2008, and 2007 …

    Thanks for your comment, Rachel.

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