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What would Larry say on a blog?

07.14.2008 by André Natta · → 11 Comments

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Larry Langford - acnatta/FlickrCould you imagine the conversations that would result from Birmingham’s mayor, Larry Langford, taking his ideas directly to the blogosphere? We had definitely thought of it and all of the possibilities – that’s why we offered him a chance to write a weekly column here on my Birmingham during the early days of his administration. We also tried to include him in the interviews that we conducted as part of our election coverage. We never received an official response from him on either of those invitations.

One may ask, “Why would the mayor want to share his thoughts with us using a blog platform?” The better question may be “Why not?” Mayors across the country have turned to the blogosphere to share their thoughts for the future of their city, to control potential spin on comments and to help shape their image of #1 cheerleader of the city. Maybe some folks would be a little nervous about giving Larry that much access to us, or that he wouldn’t have access to enough people. That hasn’t stopped Mayor Slay of St. Louis, who recently used his blog to voice his opinions surrounding what’s become today’s announcement about IN Bev’s purchase of Anheuser-Busch. Huntsville’s mayor, Loretta Spencer, hasn’t posted since late January but saw the benefit of having one set up. Mayors in Richmond, VA; Phoenix, AZ; and Miami, FL all use their blogs to broadcast announcements affecting the day-to-day lives of their citizens and to share their ideas for the future of their cities.

Maybe the immediate feedback would help temper some of the grandiose aspirations that have come out of the mayor’s office – though we were all warned that we were going to have to hold on tight back on Election Night. He also doesn’t seem to be one that likes to be criticized or second- guessed (that’s why we’re still expecting fireworks at 5:15 p.m. tonight). It would be funny to see how he’d react to the instant, immediate and sharp wit shared both in support of him and against him via blog comments.

Some may wonder why we wanted him to participate on this site in the first place. Our answer is simple, “Wouldn’t you?” It would be a great way to truly encompass all thoughts and perspectives on issues in our community directly from mayor’s mouth. “Where does he actually want to lead the city?” “What has to happen to get there?” “What else do we need to know before a decision can be made?” These are all questions that are asked by a lot of people nowadays that would be easily answered if he or anyone else in his position chose to join the conversation wholly. Until then, it remains a guessing game, one that could lead many to wonder with all of the ideas floating in Larry’s head, imagined or otherwise, what more don’t we know.

André Natta is the managing editor of The Terminal.

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Filed under: politics

11 comments
Crimsontideguy
Crimsontideguy

Birmingham and our State of Alabama has long lacked the leadership that we needed to bring ALL its citizens to a better place. We remain a "small" place of little interest or respect. I am not talking about our size. Unfortunately we owe a debt of gratitude to our friends in Mississippi. Without these friends we would finish dead last. I can say that Mayor Langford is at the very least trying to think BIG. I do not agree with many of his plans to accomplish this goal. Fair Park is not the place to put the hard earned money of we tax payers. We must somehow first solve the problem of crime in our streets. People must first feel as safe as possible before they will go to any magnificent building, park, or dome. I contend that without this freedom from fear nothing will thrive nor flourish in The City Of Birmingham. I close my rambling with a quote..."It is easy to get to the top after you get through the crowd at the bottom." ( Zig Ziglar)

Andre
Andre

One thing I'll say as someone who used to work on that side of town is that the folks over there would make a strong case that they've been neglected for a long time. Something else to consider is that no matter where these facilities are built, there will be some group that will not be able to access them, especially with our current transit mess and all of the other problems. I don't necessarily agree with the plans for Fair Park, I just think we all need to remember that most of Birmingham's residents still live on the West side of town and that we tend to not pay attention to them if we don't drive over there that much...

Darcy
Darcy

I'm still not over Fair Park. So, my first question to him would be, why would you spend $40m to revitalize an area of town that is so broken and forgotten, when the heart and soul of Birmingham, our downtown area, desperately needs your attention? Why not build these wonderful facilities where they may be used and enjoyed by ALL Bhamsters? And that brings up the idea of Fair Park in the first place...why do we need a pool and equestrian center to begin with? I just don't see such a facility being used. By anyone. Some more parks, clean-up of current ones, tax breaks for businesses to get them into downtown, and contstant wooing of businesses is a million times more important to me. $40 million more times more important. Oh, and LaLa couldn't handle a blog. His fingers wouldn't be able to keep up with his thought processes.

craig
craig

to be honest, i have talked to all of our leaders both in the political arean and in the business community until i am blue in the face. i have got so tired of simply trying to get them to even admit that there are problems here much rather to try to get serious solving them that though i have virtually no money at all and nowhere to go i have decided to simply walk away from it all. i grow tired of watching friends die all around me while our leaders including the churches and business community continue to meet every criticism with their endless mantra of if you dobn't like it leave. i don't like it. i thought that maybe i could make it better. but now i think leaving is the only option left. i am right downtown and as of this moment everything i own is for sale. 54 years of getting virtually nowhere here is, i believe, long enough.

griffphoto
griffphoto

Honestly, I would have no interest in anything Larry has to say.

Crimsontideguy
Crimsontideguy

The mayor might also add...I don't know how to spell

Crimsontideguy
Crimsontideguy

The mayor would say on his blog....It's a secrect

Crimsontideguy
Crimsontideguy

Seriously, I think that Mayor Langford is trying to make Birmingham into a truly New City Of The South. I concur with some of his new ideas. He needs a blog so that we the people can converse with him. Some of his dreams of Birmingham may be a little off base, but he is the first mayor that I have seen that is really working for a better future for Birmingham. I hope that he will focus his visions on obtainable goals for ALL the citizens. Let's not waste our money on the Olympics and the changing of street signs. ( No offense to Rev. Shuttlesworth.)

Molly
Molly

Larry Langford worked along side of me as a reporter for Channel 6 News in the early 1970's. He knows exactly what providing immediate information to the public is all about. Granted, his staff would probably be writing his blog for him. Langford could afford to use immediate feed back from the public on his plans for Birmingham and the metropolitan area. It would also help members of the Birmingham City Council to know what Mayor Langford has in mind for the City of Birmingham's money.

Zerolove
Zerolove

I for one would love it if the Mayor would use a blog. I think it is the way of the future, er now. So he's getting more disconnected with the people he claims to represent. If the Mayor is not willing to move into the future then the future will move on without the Mayor.

zackery moore
zackery moore

My thoughts about LaLa blogging are this: he would either cause more trouble for himself because he lacks an edit button or his people would have to edit him so much it wouldn't be genuine. I would welcome the chance to conversate with his crew. ZM