Archive for the ‘Patrick Cooper’ Category

>Drive-by Truckers explore the past, Birmingham votes on the future

January 19, 2010

>This day is very important for the future of Birmingham and the future of our nation.

In Birmingham the voters have the choice of electing Patrick Cooper who has a fresh vision for the city, or William Bell, part of the establishment of the last 30 years.

The difference also is in the attitudes of the supporters of the candidates. Sure, Cooper has the support of many in the LGBT community and progressive whites, and these are some of the people he has surrounded himself with.

Bell, on the other hand, has the support of Frank Matthews, who has put out divisive and homophobic campaign materials in an attempt to promote hatred and fear and divide the people of Birmingham.

The future of the nation may depend on the results of the special election in Massachusetts, where Martha Coakley and Scott Brown are fighting for the senate seat formerly held by Teddy Kennedy. Brown’s campaign is being promoted by teabaggers and it looks like he has a chance to win.

If he should win, teabaggers from the across the nation will feel emboldened and no telling what will happen. But whatever, we will have to deal with it.

That being said, I think Patrick Cooper will be the next mayor of Birmingham, and Martha Coakley will be the new senator from Massachusetts. But the elections will be close.

Check out this video featuring Drive-by Truckers.

It tells of story of the racist past in Alabama from the viewpoint of Patterson Hood, one of the band members. “The Three Great Alabama Icons” and “George Wallace” are from their album, “Southern Rock Opera.” h/t to mooncat. And, h/t to Matt Osborne.

It’s interesting how some people who grew up here had to leave the state to see what was really going on. Read a writeup about the album from Patterson Hood.

“We began writing the Southern Rock Opera some years ago. We wanted to examine people’s misconceptions of the South, and study some modern-day southern mythology.”

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>Bits and Pieces for $1000, Alex

January 15, 2010

>Karma

Yesterday, NBC 13 could not receive the satellite feed for The 700 Club and had to air an older program. A blessing for Birmingham. No Pat Robertson. Well, no current Pat Robertson, anyway.

Unity

On Monday Bobby and I will be attending the 24th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Breakfast, where the overall theme is “Health Care: A Personal Responsibility and A Human Right.” That is right up my alley. Dr. Ed LaMonte will be the keynote speaker.

Thanks to a generous donation we will be sitting at the Equality Alabama table.

Haiti

Yesterday I thought I might be going to Haiti to help in the relief effort, but the opportunity didn’t come through. But I am prepared to go. I have all the necessary vaccinations and passport and Caribbean disaster experience (here, here, here and here and ICS and NIMS training.

So if you know of an organization that needs me let me know. I’ve contacted several to let them know I am available.

Birmingham mayor’s race.

Will Birmingham elect a mayor who is having his wages garnished (William Bell) or one who says he will forgo his mayor’s salary (or donate it or whatever) in order to save the city money (Patrick Cooper)?

Here are several videos where Cooper outlines his vision and plan for the city.

Dreams

You’ve heard this song as background music during a commercial for a new lawyer TV show The Deep End. Brandi Carlile and Dreams. Watch the official video, where she is singing from an Avatar-like tree (well the best we can do on planet earth) and in front of Mardi Gras like props and with great outfits and instruments for the band. Thanks Brandi for allowing us to embed this.

or a live version from Studio Q.

Carlile is a lesbian, by the way.

>Western Tribune column December 9, 2009, Mayor here and there

December 9, 2009

>I wrote this knowing that the paper would come out after the Birmingham mayoral election, so there is a bit of vagueness in the column. But, as expected, Patrick Cooper collected the most votes, it just wasn’t enough to avoid a runoff. Let’s hope he doesn’t go into the runoff with 40% or so of the vote and then lose, like a certain Alabama house district candidate did in a recent special election.

As Cooper said on Fox6 this morning, this is now about the past vs the future. Atlanta’s mayoral race was too, it’s just that both of the candidates in the runoff there were about the future, since that city left the past long ago. Birmingham should be so lucky.

Langford/Bell v. Cooper. That kind of reminds me of Bush/McCain v. Obama. The same old versus the fresh new.

Western Tribune column

Atlanta elected a new mayor this month. We may not know who it is yet, because the results were so close, a mere 715 vote difference, that a recount is inevitable. Former state Senator Kasim Reed, who is black, leads white councilwoman Mary Norwood.

Atlanta billed itself as the “City Too Busy to Hate” during the civil rights struggles, and while cities like Birmingham suffered from hatred and violence that continues to influence our politics and impedes our progress, Atlanta grew and prospered.

Atlanta has a more racially balanced population than Birmingham, with 56 percent of their population being black and 38 percent white. Birmingham has almost 75 percent black and around 23 percent white residents.

Because Atlanta is what one may call a progressive city, their population has actually grown during this decade. More whites than blacks have recently moved into the city.

Political observers of Atlanta politics say that black political power is weakening there in part because blacks are shedding their civil rights-era sentimentality.

In Birmingham and in Bessemer as well, that mindset continues to hold us back. While we should continue to celebrate the advances made in the 1960’s and honor the heroes of the movement, we have to get past the idea that race is a more important characteristic than education or vision or experience when selecting our leaders.

Atlanta’s rejection of hatred is further evidenced by their embracement of the gay community, and in the mayoral runoff the candidates courted the gay vote with each trying to convince the voters that they were the greater friend to the GLBT community. More than 12 percent of Atlanta’s population self identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual, according a William’s Institute report.

Think of the talent that is accumulating in Atlanta as educated individuals flock to the city. Remember, their population is growing.

Birmingham’s mayoral hopefuls, at least the frontrunners, were gay friendly, in contrast to the recently convicted former mayor. But we didn’t see them trying to out-gay each other as happened in Atlanta.

In Bessemer, the contributions of the GLBT community have never been acknowledged by city leaders, and race most certainly plays a role in the selection of our leaders. We might say that Bessemer lags behind even Birmingham.

That’s pretty sad, considering the current state of Birmingham politics. The good news is, for both Birmingham and Bessemer, I guess there’s nowhere to go but up.

>Mayoral stuff

November 24, 2009

>Well Birmingham has another new mayor. Roderick Royal was elected City Council President so he is automatically the interim mayor until a new mayor is elected on December 8, or if there is a runoff, in January.

Birmingham is fortunate. They get several new mayors within a period of 3 months. Bessemer is stuck with the one we have. I have some thoughts, but I think they will be in my next Western Tribune column.

In the meantime, a video supporting Patrick Cooper for Birmingham mayor has surfaced, but its not the kind of video he necessarily wants, and definitely approved by the candidate. NSFW

But Cooper is right. He can’t control what people post. Jody Trautwein called it “inexcusable,” and that it (vulgar jokes) are “detrimental to the hearts and minds, and therefore to the future of this generation. You remember Trautwein…in “Bruno.”

Anyway, Trautwein is a believer and supporter of ex-gay ministries, which are all a fraud and in themselves are “detrimental to the hearts and minds” of the vulnerable kids and adults who fall for it. I’m glad he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of being elected.

Recently an Ex-Gay conference was debunked here in Birmingham. Read here here and here.

>Birmingham (and South Alabama) Elections

October 5, 2007

>I don’t vote in Birmingham, but what happens in Birmingham certainly affects us all, and I want progress in that city just as I want it in Bessemer.

Birmingham is mired in the same vestigial racial quagmire left over from the 60’s that Bessemer is. Real or imagined race baiting takes place during every election cycle, and the current race for mayor is no different.

Bishop Calvin Woods, a familiar face in Bessemer, was all over the news yesterday and today criticizing an editorial cartoon by Scott Stantis that originally (online) showed Patrick Cooper with a “honky” sign on his back, later changed to signs with “white” and “republican.”

Tom Scarritt, editor of The Birmingham News, said “Our only agenda is to report the news. We strive to do that fairly.”

But while the leaders and wanna be leaders of the city throw racial insults around, the voters have already shown us that they are above this. Patricia Todd, a white woman in a predominately black district, received the most votes in an election for state house representative last year in both the election and a hotly contested runoff, where both race and sexuality were used in an attempt to sway voters.

As younger people become voters, and see how the attitudes of the past impede progress, more people are focusing on issues and solutions rather than listening to name calling and fear tactics.

Patrick Cooper is the only serious candidate who stands a chance of making a change in Birmingham. The other front runners have been around too long, and could be thought of as part of the problem (so how can they be part of the solution?).

I like Cooper’s thoughts on blighted houses. Because of a 2002 law the city can buy them for less than the tax lien owed, and then give them to residents (not developers) who agree to restore them or build a new home and live on the land for at least three years.

Kincaid and Langford want to bring “developers” into the equation, meaning someone is making a profit, and the restored or new homes would have to be sold, so may sit vacant for months. Criminals would love a new fresh vacant house in which to stage dog fights and make and sell crack, wouldn’t they?

It is better to give the property to someone who would live there from day one after completion (or sometimes, while restoration is ongoing).

For reasons not to consider voting for Langford see Langford’s Greatest Hits .

The other race on the ballot is Birmingham Board of Education District 3, in which Mike Higginbotham resigned in August leaving the seat open.

Political newbies Howard Bayless and Earnest Lumpkin are competing for the position.

Lumpkin’s major issues seem to be parental involvement, having more qualified teachers and more trade schools.

Bayless seems concerned with public trust and transparency, and the lack of a vision or strategic plan for the system. He also wants the school system to stop playing the blame game with the city, and realizes that a poor school system will not attract businesses or people. “When we have schools that create hope and inspire kids, we will see the tables turn.”

Education is very important, for obvious reasons, but these races rarely bring excitement to the election process. I say vote for Howard Bayless for District 3 BOE.

One other election that is generating a lot of buzz is the upcoming race for House District 2 in Alabama where Republican Terry Everett is retiring. This district is in south Alabama, from Montgomery down through the Wiregrass and Dothan.

For the buzz, check out the Daily Dixie and scroll up or down to read the post and comments that follow it. While many of these names are unfamiliar to those of us in North Alabama, it looks to be a crowded field, and will make elections in Alabama even more interesting in 2008.

Vote in Birmingham Tuesday October 9.

Birmingham (and South Alabama) Elections

October 5, 2007

I don’t vote in Birmingham, but what happens in Birmingham certainly affects us all, and I want progress in that city just as I want it in Bessemer.

Birmingham is mired in the same vestigial racial quagmire left over from the 60’s that Bessemer is. Real or imagined race baiting takes place during every election cycle, and the current race for mayor is no different.

Bishop Calvin Woods, a familiar face in Bessemer, was all over the news yesterday and today criticizing an editorial cartoon by Scott Stantis that originally (online) showed Patrick Cooper with a “honky” sign on his back, later changed to signs with “white” and “republican.”

Tom Scarritt, editor of The Birmingham News, said “Our only agenda is to report the news. We strive to do that fairly.”

But while the leaders and wanna be leaders of the city throw racial insults around, the voters have already shown us that they are above this. Patricia Todd, a white woman in a predominately black district, received the most votes in an election for state house representative last year in both the election and a hotly contested runoff, where both race and sexuality were used in an attempt to sway voters.

As younger people become voters, and see how the attitudes of the past impede progress, more people are focusing on issues and solutions rather than listening to name calling and fear tactics.

Patrick Cooper is the only serious candidate who stands a chance of making a change in Birmingham. The other front runners have been around too long, and could be thought of as part of the problem (so how can they be part of the solution?).

I like Cooper’s thoughts on blighted houses. Because of a 2002 law the city can buy them for less than the tax lien owed, and then give them to residents (not developers) who agree to restore them or build a new home and live on the land for at least three years.

Kincaid and Langford want to bring “developers” into the equation, meaning someone is making a profit, and the restored or new homes would have to be sold, so may sit vacant for months. Criminals would love a new fresh vacant house in which to stage dog fights and make and sell crack, wouldn’t they?

It is better to give the property to someone who would live there from day one after completion (or sometimes, while restoration is ongoing).

For reasons not to consider voting for Langford see Langford’s Greatest Hits .

The other race on the ballot is Birmingham Board of Education District 3, in which Mike Higginbotham resigned in August leaving the seat open.

Political newbies Howard Bayless and Earnest Lumpkin are competing for the position.

Lumpkin’s major issues seem to be parental involvement, having more qualified teachers and more trade schools.

Bayless seems concerned with public trust and transparency, and the lack of a vision or strategic plan for the system. He also wants the school system to stop playing the blame game with the city, and realizes that a poor school system will not attract businesses or people. “When we have schools that create hope and inspire kids, we will see the tables turn.”

Education is very important, for obvious reasons, but these races rarely bring excitement to the election process. I say vote for Howard Bayless for District 3 BOE.

One other election that is generating a lot of buzz is the upcoming race for House District 2 in Alabama where Republican Terry Everett is retiring. This district is in south Alabama, from Montgomery down through the Wiregrass and Dothan.

For the buzz, check out the Daily Dixie and scroll up or down to read the post and comments that follow it. While many of these names are unfamiliar to those of us in North Alabama, it looks to be a crowded field, and will make elections in Alabama even more interesting in 2008.

Vote in Birmingham Tuesday October 9.

>Bessemer Council Special Meeting, and Random Thoughts

September 20, 2007

>What did I say? The Bessemer City Council has called a special meeting for tonight at 5:00 to address the water issue. Often they call special meetings to address a critical issue. Sometimes they call a special meeting to avoid the public. Don’t let that happen…be there.

I want to know if 50 Cent is really going to retire, since he said he would if Kanye West outsold him with first week sales of their new cd’s, 957,000 copies to 691,000 copies. We can only hope.

Larry Langford’s TV commercial says he has a one point plan for reducing crime…putting criminals behind bars. Reactive.

Patrick Cooper’s commercials state he has a six point plan. Read them here. Proactive.

Fox 6 reported that Cooper’s numbers went up during the forum last night…more people saying they would vote for him when leaving the debate than when entering. Other blogs say he should thank each of the other candidates for making him look so good, and John Archibald lists the Top 10 dumb things said at the forum. Top Ten

Mars will not be changing the ingredients in chocolate, so M & M’s and Snickers and Dove chocolates are safe. Chocolate is one thing that really shouldn’t be messed with. Now the “lesser quality” chocolates, like the chocolate Easter bunnies and Santa’s will taste even worse.

Emoticons are 25 years old. 🙂 Wasn’t it really Forrest Gump who invented (discovered) these. 😉

Bessemer Council Special Meeting, and Random Thoughts

September 20, 2007

What did I say? The Bessemer City Council has called a special meeting for tonight at 5:00 to address the water issue. Often they call special meetings to address a critical issue. Sometimes they call a special meeting to avoid the public. Don’t let that happen…be there.

I want to know if 50 Cent is really going to retire, since he said he would if Kanye West outsold him with first week sales of their new cd’s, 957,000 copies to 691,000 copies. We can only hope.

Larry Langford’s TV commercial says he has a one point plan for reducing crime…putting criminals behind bars. Reactive.

Patrick Cooper’s commercials state he has a six point plan. Read them here. Proactive.

Fox 6 reported that Cooper’s numbers went up during the forum last night…more people saying they would vote for him when leaving the debate than when entering. Other blogs say he should thank each of the other candidates for making him look so good, and John Archibald lists the Top 10 dumb things said at the forum. Top Ten

Mars will not be changing the ingredients in chocolate, so M & M’s and Snickers and Dove chocolates are safe. Chocolate is one thing that really shouldn’t be messed with. Now the “lesser quality” chocolates, like the chocolate Easter bunnies and Santa’s will taste even worse.

Emoticons are 25 years old. 🙂 Wasn’t it really Forrest Gump who invented (discovered) these. 😉