Sweet home Alabama. Where the skies are so blue, and Black people control Jefferson County too.
"There was a time when Birmingham - at least by one measure of corporate muscle - ranked up there with Los Angeles and Boston.Jefferson County is 58 percent white and Black people comprise 39 percent of the county, as they are largely situated in the core of the Birmingham, with white flight encircling the minority-ruled city in such white cities as Hoover, Vestiva Hills and Mountain Brook.
That was in April 1999, just 10 years ago, when Birmingham was home to six companies in the Fortune 500, the list of the largest corporations in the country, ranked by revenue.
Now, the Magic City has just one member, Regions Financial Corp., which is hanging on to its 280th spot after a rough year that included a $6.2 billion fourth-quarter loss. Los Angeles has added a member since 1999, while Boston's tally has remained level. Meanwhile, another landmark Birmingham business - Bruno's Supermarkets LLC, a member of the elite Fortune roster in the mid-1990s - is in the process of disappearing after the 75-year-old chain's assets were auctioned in U.S. Bankruptcy Court."
"The overall crime rate in Birmingham for 2007 (10,108.9 per 100,000) is more than twice the state average (4,206.3 per 100,000). The violent crime rate per 100,000 is almost 3.5 times the state average, and the property rate per 100,000 is 1.9 times the state average. The average clearance rate is below the state average. Indeed, the only clearance rate above the state average is for robberies."Birmingham and its Black leaders can take solace in the fact that in the football crazed state,they are ranked th 11th most violent city in America, and #5 in murders per capita, in 2008.
Why is there a sewer crisis and why is Birmingham directly leading Jefferson County into the problematic waters of the largest potential municipal bankruptcy in US history?"A budget crisis is forcing Alabama's Jefferson County to push negotiations over its multibillion dollar debt onto the back burner even though the mounting payments due could drag the county into bankruptcy."If Jefferson County goes bust it will be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, but the pressure of coping with sharply falling revenue has reduced the priority of talks on how to reschedule the debt, county commissioners said."In the latest sign of financial turmoil, Jefferson County announced on Wednesday it would put roughly 1,000 employees, out of 3,200 total, on administrative leave without pay by August 1 in a bid to save money.Our immediate crisis is being able to provide services and keep people employed. That's the No. 1 crisis here in this community. The sewer crisis has taken a back seat," said county commissioner Sheila Smoot."