BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin released his proposed budget for the city Tuesday, putting neighborhood revitalization as his top priority with nearly $20 million for different projects.
Many people agree with Woodfin that a lot of neighborhoods need attention, from re-paving roads to taking care of abandoned buildings.
“Everybody wants those things. You want to live in a place that you feel happy and safe, that you feel is beautiful,” Birmingham resident Jennifer Sanders said.
A group of volunteers known as the People’s Budget Birmingham says it’s been canvassing neighborhoods talking to hundreds of people about what they want to see their tax dollars spent on. The most common answers are the road system, public transportation and more recreational areas for kids.
“It’ll put a spark in Birmingham and kind of create that thing that we need to kind of keep people to want to come here and want to live here and want to work here as well,” Birmingham resident Rod Winston said.
“It should again be a priority, the quality of life, what makes people feel safe, what are opportunities for recreation, you know, that we can really enjoy our life, we won’t have to go anywhere else. We want to stay in Birmingham,” Sanders said.
Woodfin is also allotting money for public transportation and investing in youth.
“Combined, we believe these three phases of funding help our continued investments in neighborhood revitalization, which includes supporting and investing in our people and our employees, as well as our youth, as well as something that’s extremely important to every single person, as public safety and public infrastructure,” Woodfin said.
Another topic on many people’s minds they want to see addressed is safety around the city.
“The biggest things that they talk about are public infrastructure –that includes the road system, public transportation, parks and recreation,” Gabriel Caban Cubero, campaign director for People’s Budget Birmingham, said. “They also want to see more for their youth, right? There’s kind of this idea that to reduce gang violence or reduce community violence that there has to be more enforcement but part of that is also providing more alternatives for young people to be engaged and involved and really create community with their community.”
People’s Budget Birmingham says it has offered to work with the city council and neighborhood associations during work on the mayor’s budget.