By Frank James Matthews, III
I have announced my candidacy for Mayor of Birmingham. I am running because Birmingham’s poverty rate has remained in the 30th percentile for the last 40 years. Today, the poverty rate has hit a tipping point of 37.1 percent in a city that is 74 percent black. I believe in the fortitude and the will to survive of the people of this city, none of whom should be marginalized or subordinated. the greatest evil to all humanity is poverty. We see it, we feel it, and we live with it in this city. We must shatter and slay the Goliath of poverty that runs deep and rampant through Birmingham. We must address and advance the needs and concerns of so many of our neglected neighborhoods. This is my vision.
Birmingham has had a long and difficult history, but we will move forward. The current administration has consistently demonstrated a lack of leadership, sound judgment and business ethics that have in many ways devastated the black community leaving failing schools, lack of job opportunities, little economic development, soaring crime, inadequate affordable housing, a crumbling infrastructure, and food deserts.
It is my expectation to provide the citizens, and the business community transparent and accountable governance and service. I have taken a very critical look at the current state of city government and I have an inclusive vision for Birmingham that I will not be reluctant in advancing.
My platform includes, but is not limited to revitalizing neighborhoods with reinvestment of bank funds; establishing a $40 million plan that will assist small businesses; over the course of four years contributing 50 percent of my salary to Meals on Wheels, the Birmingham city schools, Alabama Striders Track and Field team founded by Coach Dewitt Thomas; immediately terminating the current mayor’s million dollar security team; ensuring all city employees receive a one time 15 percent merit raise and a 5 percent cost of living increase; restoring longevity pay for all city employees with ARREARAGE dating back to 2010; creating an industrial cleaning service for all uniformed city employees; revamping the city’s law department; establishing an Office of International Business Recruitment; establishing a Community Police Review Committee; initiating litigation to restore the Birmingham Water Works to the city; establishing an automated senior citizen hotline; reorganizing and streamlining Birmingham youth programs into a vibrant consortium; repealing the smoking ban at the Birmingham Race Course and advocating for BINGO within the city limits.
Finally, I have promising ideas about a five-member school board to run citywide, the airport, the Appalachian Trail, recidivism reduction and extraction of methane gas from landfills.
Please visit my website at frankjamesmatthewsiiimayor17.com for additional information on my candidacy. I look forward to serving as your next mayor.
Frank James Matthews III, a community activist, is a candidate for mayor of Birmingham.