By Gunnar Sadowey
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin delivered an update on his first year in office during “The Big Picture” event at the Alabama School of Fine Arts’ Dorothy Jemison Day Theater on Thursday, March 21.
According to a press release issued by the Birmingham City Council, Woodfin unveiled new education and social justice initiatives at the event. Additionally, Woodfin provided an update on Birmingham’s Strategic Plan, which was originally revealed in October 2018.
Woodfin focused mainly on establishing clarity and precision for those who may not be familiar with his plans for the development of Birmingham.
“What I want to accomplish tonight is simple, transparency,” Woodfin said, according to the release. “I want people to walk out of here with a clear understanding of where we are with progress of our plans for the city and I want them equipped to share the information with their family and friends, their colleagues and co-workers, their children and their stakeholders.”
Key members of the Woodfin administration were present at the event and all presented on plans of city development through support of Woodfin’s actions.
At the event, Woodfin also specified the unveiling of the Birmingham Promise Initiative, a plan that will allow Birmingham City School students to partake in apprenticeships in developing businesses and professions, including information technology, healthcare and life sciences.
After graduation, the students involved with this initiative will be able to continue their education at a two-year or four-year university, paid fully through the Fred Shuttlesworth Scholarship. Students not part of this initiative will be able to pursue full-time apprenticeships with one of Birmingham’s employer partners.
Through this initiative, Woodfin said he would like to further the development and utilization of Birmingham’s youth.
“The bottom line is this: we collectively lose out every time a young person in our city is unable to realize their fullest potential, and we are not going to allow that to happen any longer,” Woodfin said.
Lastly, in terms of social justice, Woodfin announced plans for A Citizen’s Experience, or ACE. This seven-week citywide leadership initiative will aim to clarify several purposes of government through the encouragement of literacy and society’s participation in finding solutions for enduring issues such as racism.
ACE is set to begin in early June 2019 and will be free of charge for all those interested in attending.