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The We Are For UAB Movement, And Why It’s Important For Birmingham


UPDATE: Sign the petition to continue UAB football at:  http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/continue-uab-football

Read the Open Letter to Chancellor Witt and the Alabama Board of Trustees at:  http://uabstrong.blogspot.com/2014/11/open-letter-to-chancellor-witt-and.html?m=1

Over the weekend, a new video popped up that supports UAB, and the City of Birmingham.  Yes, I have gotten critical in Birmingham before, but that was a few years ago.  Today, the downtown area of Birmingham has gotten a lot better.  From Regions Field, Railroad Park, the BJCC Entertainment District, new shops and restaurants, and more.  The downtown area of Birmingham has seen a boom of activity, and new people are moving downtown.  But, some people are still criticizing Birmingham.  Before I share my thoughts, watch the video below!

James Spann posted this video on his social media accounts.  And he said:

“The state of Alabama can’t move forward without Birmingham, and Birmingham can’t move forward without UAB.  I have been amazed at the number of people that are so negative on the City of Birmingham, while at the same time they enjoy the qualify of life and amenities offered by the Birmingham market. I am all in for Alabama, the City of Birmingham, and UAB. The chronic negativity about Birmingham accomplishes nothing. Let’s all work to move forward; I am very encouraged by what I see, and we do not need to take a step backward.”

While most people agree with that above statement, some people took to social media to criticize the UAB video, and Birmingham in general.  I wanted to share some of the interesting responses from James Spann’s Facebook page.

See that’s where your wrong most of the bordering cities are thriving when Birmingham the city is not. Politics have killed the city,period. Sure there are some good points but none that provide a life jacket big enough to save a sinking ship.

Birmingham is awful. It has some nice suburbs, but the city is nothing more than a trash strewn ghetto.

Unfortunately the city is run by crooks and people who don’t care about the city and care only about the money they can get out of it.

The biggest negative I see is the city council wasting money- and it’s not right for the ppl of Bham to suffer bc of THEIR mistakes on the sewer mess.
(The city was broke but yet came up with $50k to have a Democratic Party after Obama won. The money shows up for “fun” stuff just out of the blue)

Unfortunately much of downtown is ghetto and needs major work. It used to thrive with shops and nice department stores but that has all been run out. Bham needs someone willing to address the entitlement mindset issues and bring industry and retail back to Birmingham.

How many episodes of THE FIRST 48 have been filmed there?…… Seems like better than half their series….

The whole point of the We Are For UAB campaign, is to tell everyone how important the University of Alabama in Birmingham is not only for Birmingham, but for the entire metro area as well.  UAB is the largest employer in the Birmingham Metro, and one of the largest employers in the state of Alabama.  If UAB suddenly closes down, thousands of jobs would disappear.  And the entire Birmingham Metro, including Shelby County and the over the mountain areas would suffer!  It also means cities like Mountain Brook, Homewood, Alabaster, Pelham, Hoover, and other cities would suffer as well!

Another topic being brought up in this discussion is the potential loss of the UAB football team.  As you know, the UAB football team still plays at Legion Field, which is in its last days of being a sports facility.  UAB badly needs a new stadium in the downtown area, and the University of Alabama trustees don’t want to provide the funds to build the new stadium.  A new stadium for the UAB Blazers would not only provide a much-needed venue, it would increase business and tourism in downtown Birmingham.  UAB believes their football program is good for UAB, Birmingham, and the state of Alabama.

If the football program is shut down, it would hurt the other sports by sending them to a weaker conference.  It would reduce donations made by other people to the university.  It would reduce scholarships to other sports, the band, and the school.  And it would harm business, hotels, restaurants, and the overall student quality inside UAB.  But the We Are For UAB program is more about football.  I wanted to share this comment made on Facebook by John Knox.

“This is about much more than UAB football. During the past year-plus, the UAB University Honors Program–the program that made my UAB undergraduate experience so incredibly special–has been under ‘reorganization’ by the Watts administration, which does not appreciate the nationally prominent jewel that the UHP has been on the UAB campus for the past 31 years. The current administration at UAB (like the one before it) is programmed to do what the UA Board of Trustees tells it to do. And the UABOT clearly has an agenda that is not supportive of the undergraduate end of UAB (they like the medical school, but they see the UASOM very differently from the undergraduate part of UAB). I cannot reveal my sources, but this information is *not* based on idle speculation and is *not* an isolated opinion. For example, the Facebook page “Save UAB’s Honors Programs!” has almost 1,200 members. James knows that I choose my words carefully. Dr. John A. Knox, University of Georgia, UAB ’88.”

UAB wants more support from the University of Alabama trustees, and it would take legislative action to make that happen!  So, you can clearly see what the UAB supporters wants, more leadway to make their own decisions without the UA Board of Trustees breathing down their backs.  I support having UAB getting to make more of their own decisions, and you should too!  To learn more about We Are For UAB, go to:  http://bhamforuab.com/

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