I would like to see the National Democratic Convention come to Birmingham to choose the next Democratic President for this great country of ours. I have always said and will continuously say that the only way you can win a race is to get in a race, and one sure way of losing is to not enter. There are many cities that have been mentioned for this huge convention including: Birmingham, Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City. National and Political committees choose cities for various reasons. As a general rule they choose a city that is in a state that’s important for them to carry at the next election time. No Democrat running for the President of the United States will carry the state of Alabama during my lifetime or the lifetime of most of the people reading this article.
It’s great to have Birmingham mentioned with all of these other cities, but the chances of getting the DNC to Birmingham is not good. The primary reason is we do not have the facilities. We need a convention hall that will seat at least 2000 people, which we do not have. Also we don’t have enough hotel space or food establishments.
If you can recall some years ago we had a program called MAPS, Metropolitan Area Projects Strategy. This program was designed to raise taxes to fund all of these projects. Instead, we permitted the people who lived outside of Birmingham to vote against every issue that was in that document. Before that time the national airport that was built in Atlanta was offered to Birmingham, Alabama. The only requirement from the federal government was that you make sure Blacks were involved in every project, in other words sharing a piece of the pie. During this time the “political powers that be” in office voted not to let this airport come to Birmingham because a few Black people were going to benefit. Presently Atlanta airport is the largest in the world.Ten years ago we set out on a project to build a multipurpose facility, we never started it.
The rule of thumb is if you never start something it’s impossible to finish it. We currently have all the magnetism in place to remodel the Civic Center and build this type of facility; also the Mayor understands this better than anyone. The BJCC and the Mayor’s office can make it happen. We are not concerned with who gets the credit; the credit will go to Birmingham, Alabama and will put us in a position to attract major sporting events and conventions. My guess would be that the 2016 convention will be held in Columbus, Ohio. If we are able to do this and build a couple more hotels downtown I will guarantee that the National Democratic Convention in 2020 will be held in Alabama.
As an after thought:
Mayor William Bell’s name is on the mind of almost every decision maker that will be involved in Hillary Clinton’s campaign. I am definitely looking at Mayor William Bell as Vice President. All presidential candidates, in choosing their running mate, want to make sure that the person that is chosen will be an asset to the ticket. Unquestionably William bell would be an asset. He has the right height, looks, background, and the experience you need to serve in this capacity. I would vote three times for this ticket, two of them would be illegal.