Some food for thought this Friday

05.11.2007 by André Natta · → 7 Comments

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We’re still in the process of setting up our editorial section to the site. We hope to have it operational by the beginning of next week. However, we did receive a submission that we could not wait to post until then. It probably best exemplifies the reasons why this site was set up to begin with. Click on to read it; it’ll be a good way to start the weekend.

Good News, Alabama

Good news everybody. ThyssenKrupp chose Alabama. Of course, you don’t need me to tell you that, there’s a [post] about it prominently displayed on al.com today (May 11).

But, there’s another interesting angle to this story: Louisiana’s reaction to being runner-up.

Check out nola.com. (The template for this site will look awfully familiar. Everything Alabama and Everything New Orleans are two of 10 sites across the country affiliated with a company called Advance Internet).

Anyway, at nola.com you’ll find the blog post about the Thyssenkrupp decision is getting the same billing on their home page as ours. The difference is the mood over there is somber. The interesting angle to this story is the low self-esteem expressed in all the user comments.
Around these parts, you don’t have to look hard to find accusations of political corruption, bickering, ineptness, incompetence, crime, poor education, untrained workforce, pollution, racism, unfair taxes, lack of vision… need I continue? Some of these are true and some are perceived. But, while these are serious issues that must be addressed, they are not exclusive to our city and
state. At nola.com you’ll read about how residents there cite these same problems as reasons why Baton Rouge lost out. In other words, Louisiana would like to be more like Alabama so they can be more attractive to businesses.

Interestingly enough, out of 67 potential sites in 20 states, Louisiana was second – so they were attractive to business, just not the right fit for Thyssenkrupp. However instead of focusing on the positive effort that put them ahead of 18 other states, they’re focusing on the negative.

And Louisiana isn’t the only state that suffers from some of the same self-doubt and inability to get things done that we sometimes feel. Compare Birmingham to Memphis, Tennessee, for example. In Birmingham, most people are on the same page about the Railroad Reservation Park. We don’t have water – which a lot of cities take advantage of to enhance their downtown revitalization – but we’re planning to use the area around the railroad tracks as a substitution. Smart thinking.

In Memphis, they have water. Putting some businesses and residences on the Mississippi River seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? That’d be a great place for the ole “Live, Work, Play” formula that cities across American are trying to create.

But in Memphis, they can’t get it done. There’s a movement afoot to develop that area.

But there’s also a movement to stop it.

Anyway, my point is that we have a lot of problems in our city and state, and we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. But, maybe the first thing we should do is hold our collective head up high. It’s Friday, our state economy just got a huge shot in the arm, and another state is bemoaning the fact that they aren’t more like Alabama.

It’s going to be a good weekend.

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Filed under: My Birmingham

6 comments
Julie
Julie

Great editorial! It's nice to see how our state's status has changed. We now seem to be a top of the list, "go to" state for new business.

Julie
Julie

Great editorial! It's nice to see how our state's status has changed. We now seem to be a top of the list, "go to" state for new business.

Mojo Denbow
Mojo Denbow

Well said, Andre. A positive story to start the weekend. Alabama is fast becoming a manufacturing haven. Producing goods benefits everyone!

Mojo Denbow
Mojo Denbow

Well said, Andre. A positive story to start the weekend. Alabama is fast becoming a manufacturing haven. Producing goods benefits everyone!

Charles
Charles

Good editorial--and nicely written, too. :) I'll add that Memphis has been trying to figure out what to do with parts of its riverfront (particularly Mud Island) for nearly 30 years now. Things may move slowly in Birmingham, but at least our park plans are moving faster than that!

Charles
Charles

Good editorial--and nicely written, too. :) I'll add that Memphis has been trying to figure out what to do with parts of its riverfront (particularly Mud Island) for nearly 30 years now. Things may move slowly in Birmingham, but at least our park plans are moving faster than that!

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