Greater Birmingham has experienced zero job growth on William Bell’s watch, and in some of our neighborhoods, nearly half of our residents live in poverty. We’ve seen nothing remotely close to an anti-poverty agenda from William Bell, and Birmingham can’t wait another four years for a City Hall that is more intentional about creating opportunities for all residents and for the small businesses that are the backbone of our local economy.
The Woodfin Plan includes what I’ve described as an “Opportunity Agenda” that seeks to align the workforce development, anti-poverty measures, support for our small businesses and minority and women-owned businesses, and that sets the stage for better regional economic development for Greater Birmingham. The Opportunity Agenda includes:
- Instructing my Economic and Workforce Development transition committee to develop a plan for repurposing City-owned properties into “Opportunity Centers” in neighborhoods where residents can receive workforce training, resume and interview help and be connected to open job opportunities locally
- Within the first year, proposing legislation to the City Council that would create occupational tax credits for hiring residents from high-unemployment census tracts, public housing residents, and formerly incarcerated residents to encourage our businesses to hire residents most in need of opportunity
- Instructing my Economic and Workforce Development transition committee to develop a framework for better regional cooperation with local and regional economic stakeholders
- Reviewing the City’s use of tax incentives to ensure that we are encouraging development that actually creates jobs for local residents and developing a plan for rebranding the Office of Economic Development into a more effective local economic development agency like those in cities like Atlanta, Louisville, Nashville, and Huntsville
- Creating a Small Business Advisory Council that will review all City licensing, permitting, taxes and other processes affecting our small businesses and make recommendations to my Office and the City Council for improving the City’s relationship with its small businesses
- Instructing my Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion transition committee to review the City’s 2007 Disparity Study and make recommendations to my Office and the City Council concerning steps the City should take to improve opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses to contract with the City of Birmingham.
Again, I challenge William Bell to propose a plan that speaks to the needs of our economy and our most economically vulnerable residents. He touts his experience, but his nearly 40 years in government have not delivered for our economy, our residents, or our small businesses. More information on my plans are available at http://www.randallwoodfin.com/opportunity and http://www.randallwoodfin.com/business. It’s time to turn the page. Vote Randall Woodfin on October 3rd.