Prove me wrong!!!
by Jesse J. Lewis, Sr.
Every election is important. I would rate the upcoming election on August 27th as one of the top five most important ever held in the City of Birmingham. We stand on the threshold of moving forward or backward as it relates to the City of Birmingham and, moreover, our educational system.
The law that was passed in the last legislative session, the Alabama Accountability Act which allows parents to remove their kids from failing schools, is going to be devastation to our school’s financial structure. We all know that the state funds Boards of Education by student headcount. Every year we are losing more students. As a result, we have to cut services, consolidate schools and lay-off teachers and the Birmingham system still has several schools below the educational standard.
In order for the Board of Education to survive, we must put the proper people in place so that we can move in the right direction to save our system. This is not an endorsement because I do not personally know all the candidates running, but I do know the history of the ones presently seated. If you keep doing the same things, you keep getting the same results.
We need a City Council that will be accountable to the taxpayers and fund those projects that are revenue producing. I’ll be the first one to say that parks and recreation complexes are important to the growth and development of any city. We all know they do not produce tax revenue. Therefore we must rely heavily upon bringing new industry and businesses into the City so we can have more parks and recreations for our people.
I contend that the next four years will set the stage for what happens in Birmingham in the next 50 years. I happen to think that there will be very few surprises in who will return to the City Council and Mayor’s office. Mayor William Bell’s chance to return is 99.9 percent; Steven Hoyt’s chance of returning is 72.4 percent; Maxine Parker’s chance is 69.2 percent; Jay Roberson’s chance is 54.2 percent; Jonathan Austin’s is 51.3 percent; Kim Rafferty’s chance is 53.9 percent LaSaunda Scales is 50.8 percent and Valerie Abbott’s is 100 percent because she has no opposition and will automatically return.
In Carole Smitherman’s seat Sheila Tyson will win after a run-off and Roderick Royal’s seat will go to Marcus Lundy after a run-off. We are all aware that a low turnout favors the incumbent. I am predicting that the turnout will be 25 percent or less. I sure would like to be wrong – TURN OUT AND PROVE ME WRONG.
It is really too early to discuss 2016, but it just so happens it seems to be the topic of conversation especially to those people interested in the presidential election. Based upon all I hear, Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the Democratic nomination is 98.9 percent. Her chances of winning the Presidency is 54.8 percent assuming she does not make any more blunders. She made one last week – making a campaign speech. Once you make campaign speeches too early and have to defend every word you say, you give your opposing candidate ammunition to criticize. Once she starts campaigning for President she’s going to have to go against some of President Obama’s policies. At some period in time she’s going to have to separate herself from her own husband. But she needs Obamas’ campaign machine and she needs her husband as interpreter of information. There is no doubt in my mind whether or not she is going to run in 2016. The truth of the matter is she is already running and the problem is she is starting too soon.