December 22, 2023 9:00am

Is regional cooperation improving in Birmingham?

Local leaders sound off on potential of a regional government

Photo of Ty West
Birmingham, AL Correspondent

The majority of influential Birmingham leaders think regional cooperation has improved over the past decade, but they’d like to see more.

That’s one takeaway from the latest Birmingham Power Poll, a monthly poll of local leaders.

More than half of respondents (55%) said regional cooperation has improved since 2013, while only a small fraction (4%) believe it has gotten worse.

While acknowledging improvement, the bulk of respondents said they would support measures to further increase cooperation.

More than 80% of respondents said they’d support the creation of at-large positions on the Jefferson County Commission that would represent the interests of the entire county.

Additionally, 77% of respondents said they would support a consolidated metro area government similar to the setup in Nashville.

Respondents overwhelmingly identified economic development as the biggest potential benefit of improved regional cooperation.

Local leaders have taken several steps in recent years to improve cooperation, including more dialogue between regional mayors, the signing of the Good Neighbor Pledge to prevent poaching of businesses and coordination on several projects and initiatives.

Power Poll Members: Do you have a friend or colleague who should be on Power Poll? Please invite them to join!

About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.

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