The Grassroots Coalition of Birmingham Presents:

The Black Agenda

A political platform tailor made for Birmingham and the basis for the 2017 Birmingham Mayor/Council elections!

The Grassroots Coalition of Birmingham, Alabama, a collective of local grassroots- minded non-profits, professionals, activists, and community leaders, seeks to install a social economy in the City of Birmingham, AL. Given our history of slavery, systemic racism, and ongoing economic oppression, we will highlight and create a “Black Economic Agenda” as a form of restorative justice and as one of the first steps in the installment of a social economy for the Birmingham Metro Area. The creation and promotion of a Black Agenda for the Birmingham Metro Area is important because truth and justice are necessary for the promotion of social cohesion, the practice of cooperation, and for the creation of true community. The Black Agenda will also serve as a best practices model for elected officials, candidates for upcoming elections, coalition members, and concerned citizens.

For your review and consideration, there is a list of initiatives, and proposals that will facilitate the creation of a formal Black Agenda for the City of Birmingham and spark the change required to move the entire Birmingham Metro Area forward as One.

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Candidate Support of Black Agenda

1. End Poverty

  • - Create and implement an agenda to grow community based businesses
  • - Promote alternative energy (wind, solar, hydro) and other opportunities tied to environmental justice to create value and jobs within the community
  • - Work with residents to revitalize the Historic Black Business District downtown
  • - Promote small business development to include social and technological entrepreneurship, and cooperative business models through business incubators
  • - Fight to raise the minimum wage

2. Community Policing and Criminal Justice Reform

  • - Promote a strong campaign against domestic violence
  • - End the school to prison pipeline
  • - Promote rehabilitation and restoration of full citizenship for former incarcerated citizens
  • - End police violence and terrorism in black communities, and other communities of color
  • - Decriminalize marijuana possession and use
  • - End habitual offender act and cite and release practices
  • - Devise a system for “mental health officers/personnel” to dispatch in cases involving mental illness

3. Expansion of Black Wealth

  • Form a partnership with an active community development financial institution
  • Identify and expose violations of Community Reinvestment Act committed by local banks and multinational banks
  • Create list of potential community development projects and a list of relevant local economic anchor institutions
  • Conduct a study to analyze the capital flows connected to housing, property and business within the City of Birmingham to understand the historical and current economic injustice that is taking place and its effects on the African American/Black population from the implementation of the Civil Rights Act until 2016

4. Transparent, Accountable, and Responsive Local Government

  • - Re-fund and strengthen the city-wide Neighborhood Association
  • - Advocate to revoke the upcoming pay raise the current city council voted in for the next elected city council 2017
  • - Work to rewrite the Mayor/Council Act to maximize the effectiveness of city government
  • - Provide detailed account of all travel and other city sponsored expenses of elected officials and their staff
  • - Research, reform and/or replace relevant city ordinances that are being used to target the black population
  • - Elect grassroots-minded representatives and community organizers as public servants
  • - Require easily accessible information regarding an itemized budget and details on all money (grants. Initiatives, donations, etc.) that are received by the      Mayor or city officials
  • - End all spending of public funds on entertainment and social events for city officials

5. Education

  • - Promote education as a public resource
  • - Design an African centered curriculum with the input of teachers, students, and the community
  • - Create and endorse a strategic implementation plan
  • - Promote and highlight a classroom sponsorship program
  • - Identify and promote creative outlets for youthful exuberance
  • - Empower youth to be advocates for their peer groups
  • - Advocate for vocational training starting at elementary schools

6. Affordable Housing

  • - Identify and promote affordable mortgage programs
  • - Endorse community land trusts and use the Land Bank Authority to benefit residents
  • - Identify and promote cooperative housing initiatives
  • - Target advocacy towards the Housing Authority improving Sec 8/projects/HUD
  • - Reduce Veteran homelessness

7. Health and Wellness

  • - Ensure that convenient and affordable healthy food is available in all communities
  • - Increase access to physical and mental health care
  • - Address PTSD caused by exposure to generational poverty