Connect with us

Economy

Mayor Woodfin proposes $451M FY 2020 budget with focus in neighborhoods

THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES — Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin on Tuesday unveiled a $451 million fiscal 2020 budget that includes a focus on neighborhood revitalization and an increase in the pension fund for city employees. The budget is a 2.4 percent increase over the $440 million fiscal 2019 budget approved last year by the City Council. The fiscal year begins July 1.

Published

on

By Erica Wright

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin on Tuesday unveiled a $451 million fiscal 2020 budget that includes a focus on neighborhood revitalization and an increase in the pension fund for city employees.

The budget is a 2.4 percent increase over the $440 million fiscal 2019 budget approved last year by the City Council. The fiscal year begins July 1.

The budget projects tax and license revenue increase of $6.5 million over 2019 which will be combined with $3 million of commercial construction fees and revenue from the state’s recently approved gas tax.

Up to $14 million in this year’s budget will go to neighborhood revitalization in the form of demolition, street paving, weed abatement and the Birmingham Land Bank Authority, which returns vacant, abandoned and tax-delinquent properties back to the tax rolls, the mayor said.

“These things are important as it relates to the issues I still hear when I’m addressing residents, whether it’s at a neighborhood meeting or church or at their door, [they’re saying] ‘mayor, please pave these streets and please tear these houses down,’” said Woodfin, who delivered his budget message to the council on Tuesday and residents at the Birmingham CrossPlex later in the evening.

Woodfin said his administration is not just talking about the concerns but the money that is in the budget reflects solutions.

The city is not proposing a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) this year because of the money put toward areas such as merit pay ($3 million), health insurance ($3 million), longevity pay ($2 million) and the pension ($5.8 million) which totaled $13.8 million, the mayor said.

“We did not do a COLA this year, but it doesn’t mean we won’t do one next year, it means this year with the tough decisions we had to make including the number one priority of filling the pension, we couldn’t do all five at the level we wanted to,” he said.

Merit pay is performance-related pay that provides bonuses for workers who perform their jobs effectively according to certain criteria.

As for the pension, he said, “our greatest asset is our city employees and they deserve to have a fully-funded pension and I’m happy to say the city’s portion of meeting our obligation, we will actually meet in this budget. I would say tied for first place in this budget’s priorities were paving streets and our pension funding and we met both.”

Highlights of the mayor’s proposed budget include:

  • $8 million, street paving and pothole repair (an increase of $5.5 million over last year)
  • $5.8 million, pension contribution increase
  • $4.7 million, demolition and weed abatement (an increase of $1.5 million over last year)
  • $1.5 million real time crime center
  • $1 million, land bank (an increase of $650,000 over last year)

The spending plan has no funding for non-profit organizations, although the mayor said the city continues to support non-profits, but the focus has to be on public safety, he said.

“I have a moral obligation to public safety and public infrastructure as it relates to how to allocate the city’s tax dollars,” said Woodfin. “When you talk about public safety, that’s the main employee groups including police, fire and public works . . . you have to make those investments because no one else is responsible for [public safety and public infrastructure] . . .which means by moral obligation and by fiscal obligation, they’re the priority.”

The planned $1.5 million for a “real time” crime center will help the Birmingham Police Department modernize a digital-based records keeping program.

The mayor also announced The Birmingham Promise, which represents a $2 million commitment to secondary and post-secondary workforce development, creating apprenticeships and real opportunities for the city’s youth as they enter the job market.

“It is past the time as a city we commit to workforce development and the best place is to focus on our young people,” he said.

The mayor also is proposing to increase the discretionary fund for each council district to $100,000 from $50,000.

Neighborhoods

The investment in the land bank reflects an investment in the neighborhoods, Woodfin said.

The budget reflects a $700,000 increase in the Land Bank which has been in existence for about five years and the same amount of money has been in it every year, Woodfin said.

“We wanted to show neighborhood revitalization isn’t just about tearing down houses, you have to remove the blight but you don’t want a city that’s snaggletooth,” he said. “At some point you have to go back vertical on these empty lots which includes affordable and single family homes and when you add an additional $700,000 that sends a signal to this community that we’re serious about this land bank and it also puts me in a position to be able to go out here and talk to certain stakeholder groups and say the city has shown its commitment for its land bank.

“We’re showing our commitment to neighborhood revitalization by increasing the rate of moving these properties off the tax delinquency and moving them towards going back vertical on this empty lots,” he said.

The proposed operating budget and capital budget for the 2020 fiscal year can be found at www.birminghamal.gov/budget2020.

This article originally appeared in The Birmingham Times

Continue Reading
1 Comment

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activism

Inheriting the Mantle: Who Will Carry the Legacy of John George?

Black political representation in Oakland and Berkeley was spurred by the Black Panther Party’s political organizing which began with the support of Shirley Chisholm’s bid for president in 1972 and an effort to elect Bobby Seale as mayor and Elaine Brown to City Council.  

Published

on

John George became the first African American to hold the District 5 seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. He was followed by Warren Widener and then Keith Carson who decided not to seek re-election in December 2023. File, Facebook and campaign photos respectively.
John George became the first African American to hold the District 5 seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. He was followed by Warren Widener and then Keith Carson who decided not to seek re-election in December 2023. File, Facebook and campaign photos respectively.

By LV McElhaney

This Black History Month, voters in Alameda County will be deciding which of eight candidates will succeed Supervisor Keith Carson in the District 5 race. Long considered a civil rights seat, this may be the first time in 30 years that there won’t be a Black leader at the helm since John George became the first African American elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1976.

Black political representation in Oakland and Berkeley was spurred by the Black Panther Party’s political organizing which began with the support of Shirley Chisholm’s bid for president in 1972 and an effort to elect Bobby Seale as mayor and Elaine Brown to City Council.

Before helping George, a young Black attorney who had sued Oakland over voter disenfranchisement and to create district elections, win a seat at the all-white Republican Board of Supervisors, the Panther organization was instrumental in electing Oakland’s first Black mayor, Lionel Wilson to office in 1977.

George was succeeded by another African American, Warren Widener, who served three terms from 1989 – 1992.  Widener also broke the color barrier when he became the first Black mayor in Berkeley. Widener would become a pioneer in what would become the affordable housing sector when he developed a program to build military housing on vacant land owned by the government working with his classmate, retired Navy Rear Adm. Robert Toney. That program produced more than 3,500 housing units throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and became a model for the nation.

When he sought a third term on the Board of Supervisors, Widener was defeated by newcomer, Keith Carson, a young mentee of Ron Dellums, who was viewed as more progressive than Widener.  During his 30 years in office, Supervisor Carson was known as a steady leader who sought to build an inclusive and accessible government.

He created AC Impact, a program that provides permanent supportive housing and services to chronically homeless adults in Alameda County and was instrumental in funding community-based organizations to deliver services for people returning home from prison.

Carson, who was set to run unopposed, decided in December not to seek reelection to the Board of Supervisors.  The decision shocked many in the African American community who are concerned that Black leadership is under pressure from neo-progressives and social democrats who pursue policies that threaten Black land and business ownership.

Among the eight competing to succeed Carson are two Black men, Berkeley Councilmember Ben Bartlett, and former Oakland School Board member Greg Hodge.  This diverse district includes the cities of Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Piedmont, and large portions of Oakland, namely the West Oakland, North Oakland, Rockridge, and Montclair neighborhoods, as well as portions of the Dimond, Bella Vista, and San Antonio districts.

Also running are Emeryville Councilmember Jon Bauters, Oakland Councilmember Nikki Fortunato-Bas, and social worker Ken Berrick, who previously served on the Alameda County Board of Education.

L.V. McElhaney served two-terms on the Oakland City Council and was the first Black woman to serve as Oakland Council President. She championed the establishment of the Department of Violence Prevention to channel investments into community-led solutions to eradicate gun-related violence and violence against women and children. LV. Holds a BA in Political Science from UC Berkeley and PhD from Mills College.

Continue Reading

Activism

PRESS ROOM: Oakland Pic Hosts New Year’s Career & Resource Expo 

OPIC CEO Pastor Raymond Lankford expressed his enthusiasm for the event, stating: “This Career Fair is not merely a gathering of employers and prospective employees; it’s a platform for opportunity, growth, and community collaboration. We are thrilled to bridge the gap between Oakland’s talented residents and the employers who recognize their potential. Together, we are building a stronger Oakland.” 

Published

on

Connecting Employers and Talent in Oakland and Beyond 

OAKLAND, CA – Oakland Private Industry Council, Inc., is hosting the New Year’s Career & resource Expo on Thursday, February 8, 2024, at 12 noon at the Oakland Coliseum – Eastside Club – 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland CA 94621.

This exciting event brings together over 70 employers, all seeking to hire Oakland residents with various skill levels to fill a wide range of employment opportunities. Additionally, a collaborative of resource agencies will be in attendance, providing further assistance to job seekers.

OPIC CEO Pastor Raymond Lankford expressed his enthusiasm for the event, stating: “This Career Fair is not merely a gathering of employers and prospective employees; it’s a platform for opportunity, growth, and community collaboration. We are thrilled to bridge the gap between Oakland’s talented residents and the employers who recognize their potential. Together, we are building a stronger Oakland.”

For more information or to request media access, please contact Yawo Tekpa at yawot@oaklandpic.org.

OAKLAND PIC HOSTS NEW YEAR’S CAREER & RESOURCE EXPO 

  • Who:             All job seekers, with all ages and experiences welcome
  • What:              Connecting Employers and Talent in the Community
  • When: Thursday, February 8, 2024 at 12 noon
  • Where: Oakland Coliseum – Eastside Club – 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland CA 94621.

OPIC INVITES YOUR ORGANIZATION TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR UPCOMING NEW YEAR’S CAREER & RESOURCE EXPO!!!

Dear Esteemed Employer & Community Organization Partner,

Oakland Private Industry Council, Inc. (OPIC) is excited to wish you a warm welcome into 2024! A new year, a new HOPE!!!

We enthusiastically invite your organization to participate in our NEW YEAR CAREER & RESOURCE EXPO at the OAKLAND COLISEUM!!!

DATE: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2024

TIME: 12:00 NOON – 3:00 P.M.

LOCATION: OAKLAND COLISEUM – EAST SIDE CLUB

ADDRESS: 7000 COLISEUM WAY, OAKLAND CA 94621

Participating Employer & and Community Resource Partners will receive one six-foot table and two (2) chairs for this event. Additional information, including event details and logistics, will be forwarded after you sign-up.

Please confirm your attendance by completing the online registration link below by JANUARY 31, 2024 at the latest.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1bfv0LXBexc26AeE_cosSoQrpYrx2HXOIwn1bG47chwU/edit

Thanks to our invaluable network and partnership, we are giving HOPE to many community members through quality employment opportunities and supportive resources.

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact Yawo Tekpa, Assistant One-Stop Operator/Events Coordinator, at (510) 419-0392 office/ (510) 499-6657 cell.

Sincerely,

Raymond Lankford                Yawo S. Tekpa,

CEO                           Assistant One-Stop Operator/Events Coordinator

raymondl@oaklandpic.org                   yawot@oaklandpic.org

Continue Reading

Business

California African American Chamber of Commerce to Host 2 Economic Summit in Los Angeles

Another discussion will be a Mayor’s Roundtable, featuring African American mayors from Northern, Central, and Southern California. Regional perspectives on African American participation in the California economy will be shared by these panelists as well as challenges and opportunities for businesses in their respective cities. Deborah Robertson, Mayor of Rialto, will be the roundtable’s moderator.

Published

on

Another discussion will be a Mayor’s Roundtable, featuring African American mayors from Northern, Central, and Southern California. Regional perspectives on African American participation in the California economy will be shared by these panelists as well as challenges and opportunities for businesses in their respective cities. Deborah Robertson, Mayor of Rialto, will be the roundtable’s moderator.
The California African American Chamber of Commerce (CAACC) and California African American Action Fund (CAAAF) will hold their 2nd Annual State of California African American Economy Summit in L.A. on Jan. 24 and Jan 25. The Summit will be held at the Westin Los Angeles Airport located at 5400 W. Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045. The Conference is designed to discuss specific economic topics as well as provide opportunities for business owners, entrepreneurs, advocates and other guests to connect, learn, and grow.

By California Black Media

The California African American Chamber of Commerce (CAACC) and California African American Action Fund (CAAAF) will hold their 2nd Annual State of California African American Economy Summit in L.A. on Jan. 24 and Jan 25.

The Summit will be held at the Westin Los Angeles Airport located at 5400 W. Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

The Conference is designed to discuss specific economic topics as well as provide opportunities for business owners, entrepreneurs, advocates and other guests to connect, learn, and grow.

Speakers at the summit will include Dr. Julianne Malveaux (Economist), Dr. Anthony Samad (Executive Director Mervyn Dymally Institute), and Tara Lynn Gray (Director of The California Office of Small Business Advocate – CalOSBA), among others. They will also participate in the State of California Economy Panel.

Another discussion will be a Mayor’s Roundtable, featuring African American mayors from Northern, Central, and Southern California. Regional perspectives on African American participation in the California economy will be shared by these panelists as well as challenges and opportunities for businesses in their respective cities. Deborah Robertson, Mayor of Rialto, will be the roundtable’s moderator.

CAACC Chairman Timothy Alan Simon Esq. will host a fireside chat with keynote speaker Janice Bryant-Howroyd. Bryant-Howroyd is the founder and chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based The ActOne Group, the largest privately held, minority-woman-owned personnel company founded in the United States.

Vaughn M. Williams III, Principal Supplier Diversity Advisor for SoCalGas Company will be the moderator for Business Matchmaking, a session that facilitates networking among business owners across sectors.

For more information on the summit, call (800) 791-7068.

Continue Reading

Subscribe to receive news and updates from the Oakland Post

* indicates required

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending

Copyright ©2021 Post News Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.