Power Poll: How Birmingham leaders rate the Alabama Legislature's perfomance
Influential Magic City leaders not impressed with state's lawmakers
Influential Birmingham leaders are not impressed with the Alabama Legislature.
That’s the big takeaway from this month's Power Poll Birmingham, which surveys influential local leaders each month on key topics in the community.
Power Poll Birmingham is not a scientific poll, but does offer a window into the perspectives of influential Birmingham community and business leaders.
When asked to give the Alabama Legislature a letter grade for its recently completed session, 80% gave a grade of 'C' or lower. A higher percentage of respondents (24%) gave lawmakers an 'F' than gave them a 'B' or higher.
Only 19% gave lawmakers at least a 'B' or higher.
While lawmakers did take broadly applauded steps to address aggressive policing in the wake of AL.com's investigation of the town of Brookside and passed multiple tax relief measures, it also passed controversial and highly criticized bills focused on concealed carry permits and transgender children while once again shying away from taking meaningful action on several of the state's longtime challenges.
More than half of respondents (55%) said they strongly disagreed that lawmakers are effective at addressing the biggest problems facing the state.
Even as Birmingham's brand has gained steam over the past decade, Magic City leaders have often complained that external perceptions of Alabama sometimes make it difficult to lure prospective employees or companies to the region.
Results from the Power Poll suggest respondents believe lawmakers aren't helping matters, with 80% saying the Alabama Legislature regularly takes actions that hurts the state's brand.
In terms of where respondents would like to see lawmakers focus their attention in 2023, business and economic development led the way (36%) followed closely by health care (28%).
This month's Power Poll surveyed 595 leaders with a response rate of 14%.