The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Bringing Bessemer Back, Mr. Mayor

Bessemer is undergoing some changes, but we need more.

Here is a picture of the interior of Broken Vessel Full Gospel Church, undergoing renovation. The new congregation is saving a historic building of great importance to the city of Bessemer.

The former South Highland Baptist Church is recognized as a historic structure.

Now if we could make progress on Arlington School. I believe the School Board is now the hold up on this project, they need to move forward and let interested groups take control of this property.

And of course, we need to demolish structures, whether they are historic or not, that are no longer salvageable. I realize I have published picures of this bulding before, but I will keep reminding people of our city's unwillingness to take care of problems that can only described as "blight." This structure provides a breeding ground for vermin and becomes an unsafe playground when young children go exploring. Is it stretching it to say that leaving structures such as this around our city, and not promoting litter control and neighborhood beautification projects by our city leaders is their way of keeping the people down? Just where they want us? If the mayor and council wanted the city to look better and to be better, could they not do it? If they really wanted more educated and productive people to move to Bessemer, would they not take care of these problems that our image is based on? Or do they like Bessemer just as it is. The mayor is on TV proclaiming "Bessemer Is Back" and touting Academy Drive developements and the Colonial Properties development near I-459. Joy. We get to be like Trussville! Not that anything is wrong with Trussville.

But Bessemer is unique. We don't need to be like any of the other communities surrounding Birmingham, although we may occasionally refer to them. But we can be better. By preserving the rich history we have in architecture (both downtown and in our neighborhoods). By recognizing and celebrating the diversity of our population and culture. The Sweet House sits across the corner from the Arlington School. Fully restored, it stands in stark contrast to the deteriorating school (and the drug den on the other corner).

And we can begin this by nurturing respect for ourselves and our neighbors. It's hard to respect someone, and even harder to lift them up, if you don't know them. When we begin to show respect for our community we will see it looking cleaner. When we begin to show respect for our family members we will see kids doing better in school. And when we begin to teach respect to our children for the property and well being of others, we will begin to see crime decrease, and litter disappear, and vandalism decrease.

I am going to meet with Earl later this week to discuss issues that I think are important to our district and to the city. If you have suggestions, let me know.

Oh, and I saw a fledgling towhee this morning, so the wild bird population continues to grow in our backyard. Couldn't get a picture of this one, though. And you will notice a couple of new pictures over to the left of flowers blooming. you can look forward to seeing more roses over the next few weeks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i have a bike ride that takes me from b'ham through bessemer to shannon/oxmoore rd. up to shades crest and eventually back to b'ham.

in bessemer, i always slow down to appreciate those old buildings, especially that magnificent methodist (?) church across from the sweet house. last time i did the ride (two weeks ago) i saw the "for sale" signs at the highland church. i figured it would sit there unoccupied for years, perhaps collapsing like the one in the other picture. glad to hear that won't be the case.