I read a piece off Al.com this week over the idea that Birmingham, Alabama might have great chances in attracting this major Google operation (50,000 jobs). The slant on this story is that Birmingham is gay-friendly, which might give them points with Google.
This story starts in 2016 where they did some municipal equity evaluation. At that point, Birmingham achieved a score of '12'. Well, yeah....that was a fairly low score. So a year passed, and it's odd....they actually got a new score in 2017....'83'. How do you get 71 points in less than a year? That ought to be a eight-page story, but they give you a two-liner explanation that the city passed a ordnance which says you should not discriminate on sexual stuff.
In case you were interested in what Auburn made on this municipal equity evaluation? Well....'4'. I kinda have my doubts that they even knew the equity evaluation existed.
So, back to the idea that Birmingham might be selected for the Google site.
Being from the state and having some knowledge of Birmingham....I would offer these observations:
1. Crime-wise, it's a place that you drive through and don't stop. If you use the airport (which is a fairly decent airport)....you just want to pull off the interstate and drive straight in. The cops? They have a number of private security folks around the airport and that's what makes it safe.
2. Home prices? Around most of Jefferson County, you can still find a fair number of homes in the $60,000 range. It's hard to find folks who really want to live in the county.
3. If you did a corruption analysis study of the city? You'd be mostly laughing and realize that no one in the city trusts the mayor or the city-council.
4. Potential of talking highly educated folks into moving into the region? They'd spend a weekend reviewing the regional potential and I suspect that 90-percent of folks would grin and say 'no'. The ones who do accept? They will draw some boundary and intend to live at least sixty miles from the heart of Birmingham.
It's an interesting suggestion but I think Google will laugh over the idea.