Alabama Policy Institute https://alabamapolicy.org Alabama Policy Institute Fri, 18 Jun 2021 19:50:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.2 Cartoon: Birmingham’s Bonuses for City Employees https://alabamapolicy.org/2021/06/18/cartoon-birminghams-bonuses-for-city-employees/ Fri, 18 Jun 2021 19:48:37 +0000 https://alabamapolicy.org/?p=19602 Cartoon by Scott Stantis, API Senior Fellow Read Justin Bogie’s Op-ed on the Birmingham Bonuses

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Cartoon by Scott Stantis, API Senior Fellow

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Out of Touch, City of Birmingham Gives Themselves $5,000 Bonuses https://alabamapolicy.org/2021/06/18/out-of-touch-city-of-birmingham-gives-themselves-5000-bonuses/ Fri, 18 Jun 2021 14:35:16 +0000 https://alabamapolicy.org/?p=19596 In this episode of the 1819 Podcast, host Scott Stantis is joined by API Senior Director of Fiscal Policy Justin Bogie to discuss the City of Birmingham’s decision to give themselves millions of dollars in bonuses while Birmingham’s problems proliferate.

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In this episode of the 1819 Podcast, host Scott Stantis is joined by API Senior Director of Fiscal Policy Justin Bogie to discuss the City of Birmingham’s decision to give themselves millions of dollars in bonuses while Birmingham’s problems proliferate.

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Former State Senator Phil Williams to Host New Radio Show https://alabamapolicy.org/2021/06/17/former-state-senator-phil-williams-to-host-new-radio-show/ Thu, 17 Jun 2021 18:00:46 +0000 https://alabamapolicy.org/?p=19589 Birmingham, Ala. – Today (June 17th, 2021), the Alabama Policy Institute announced the formation of a wholly owned subsidiary named Rightside Media and a partnership with Cumulus Media’s WVNN to broadcast a new 3-hour afternoon news-talk radio show across north Alabama on both AM and FM stations and live-streamed online. Dubbed “Rightside Radio,” the show […]

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Birmingham, Ala. – Today (June 17th, 2021), the Alabama Policy Institute announced the formation of a wholly owned subsidiary named Rightside Media and a partnership with Cumulus Media’s WVNN to broadcast a new 3-hour afternoon news-talk radio show across north Alabama on both AM and FM stations and live-streamed online. Dubbed “Rightside Radio,” the show will be hosted five days a week by former State Senator Phil Williams beginning Monday, July 5th, from 2-5pm.

“The Alabama Policy Institute has made a commitment in the last two years to more actively message the values and principles of conservatism,” said API’s President Caleb Crosby. “Phil Williams, as API’s Chief Policy Officer, has been centrally involved in the development of our new 1819 magazine, podcasting, legislative scorecard, and annual Policy Warrior Award. Some of the work he led received national recognition. Moving our message to a broad listening audience is the next step and Phil is the man to do it.”

Phil Williams brings an insider’s knowledge of the working of Montgomery politics by virtue of his service as an Alabama State Senator. Combining that political insight with his service as an Army Ranger, an active Attorney, and a conservative policy strategist, Phil will be able to speak into the news and events of the day with a broad perspective and the ability to interview guests and callers uniquely and engagingly.

“At WVNN, we are always on the hunt for good talent to augment our team,” said Dale Jackson, host of WVNN’s Dale Jackson Show and Program Director for the station. “Phil’s work as a guest host for the station caught our attention and the concept of partnering for Rightside Radio came easily. This is going to be a great afternoon show!”

Rightside Radio, with a program motto of “Solid, Conservative, and Just Plain Right!” is designed to inform, engage, and entertain one of the largest listening audiences in the State of Alabama with insights into how conservatives can win in the midst of today’s cancel culture. With a mix of opinion, news, live calls, anecdotes, and humor, Rightside Radio with Phil Williams as its host is expected to make an immediate impact.

Soon to be Rightside Radio host Phil Williams said, “API and WVNN have certainly expanded the ability to serve the state that I love and grew up in. One of my passions is to empower others to understand the value of where they live and how to make it better. I’m humbled and thankful to have this opportunity and I’m looking forward to going live with the show on July 5th. I never saw this one coming…but I’m glad that it did!”

For more information, visit rightsideradio.org or alabamapolicy.org. Rightside Radio with Phil Williams will air on Newstalk 770 AM/92.5 FM WVNN across north Alabama from 2-5pm Monday-Friday.

Founded in 1989, API is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational organization dedicated to strengthening free enterprise, defending limited government, and championing strong families. 

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Alabama Center for Law & Liberty Endorses Eagle Forum of Alabama and Alabama Policy Institute’s Resolution on Critical Race Theory https://alabamapolicy.org/2021/06/16/alabama-center-for-law-liberty-endorses-eagle-forum-of-alabama-and-alabama-policy-institutes-resolution-on-critical-race-theory/ Wed, 16 Jun 2021 17:44:36 +0000 https://alabamapolicy.org/?p=19574 Birmingham, Ala. – Today (June 16th, 2021), the Alabama Center for Law & Liberty (ACLL) endorsed the joint resolution of Eagle Forum of Alabama and the Alabama Policy Institute concerning Critical Race Theory in Alabama’s public schools. Although Critical Race Theory has existed since 1989, it came into American public life prominently after the tragic […]

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Birmingham, Ala. – Today (June 16th, 2021), the Alabama Center for Law & Liberty (ACLL) endorsed the joint resolution of Eagle Forum of Alabama and the Alabama Policy Institute concerning Critical Race Theory in Alabama’s public schools.

Although Critical Race Theory has existed since 1989, it came into American public life prominently after the tragic killing of George Floyd. Drawing on its Marxist roots, CRT teaches that “the law and legal institutions are inherently racist and that race itself, instead of being biologically grounded and natural, is a socially constructed concept that is used by white people to further their economic and political interests at the expense of people of colour.” (Voddie Baucham in Fault Lines: The Social Justice Movement and Evangelicalism’s Looming Catastrophe). These principles inevitably lead to “racial segregation, race stereotyping, and race scapegoating.”

Federal law prohibits government entities, including public schools, from engaging in such conduct. The Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbid public schools from racial discrimination or creating a hostile environment based on race, which is exactly what CRT does. The Free Speech Clause of the United States Constitution also protects the rights of students to oppose CRT and to refuse to profess an ideology with which they disagree. Proponents of CRT may argue that the same Clause protects the rights of teachers and school administrators to teach these views in schools. However, the Supreme Court and the Eleventh Circuit have held that public employees must be speaking on matters of public concern in their capacities as private citizens in order to enjoy the First Amendment’s protections. This is not the case when public employees teach these matters in their official capacities as educators in primary and secondary public schools.

The joint resolution between Eagle Forum of Alabama and the Alabama Policy Institute proposes the solution that the Constitution requires under these circumstances. The resolution bans the most problematic parts of CRT that would necessarily violate federal law if propagated in public schools. Among other things, the resolution bans teaching that one race is inherently superior to another, that a person by virtue of his race is inherently racist whether he realizes it or not, that a person bears responsibility for past injustices simply because of his race, and that a person should be discriminated against because of his race. Likewise, it also prohibits schools from teaching that slavery was the true foundation of the United States instead of an aberration of America’s true founding principles. To the extent that schools may still discuss matters of whether racial injustice exists in the United States, the resolution requires them to present a diversity of viewpoints, to discuss the manner in a respectful way, to respect the dignity of each student, and to refrain from discrimination.

By establishing these parameters for Alabama’s public schools, the resolution not only protects the dignity of every student, but it also avoids the inevitable lawsuits that would follow from the violations of the Equal Protection Clause, Title VI, and relevant state law. Since the resolution is legally sound and promotes a policy that is in the best interests of this State and its students, the Alabama Center for Law & Liberty endorses this resolution.

The Alabama Center for Law & Liberty is the litigation arm of the Alabama Policy Institute.

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Leaders of Birmingham Should Use Stimulus Funds to Make the City “Magic” Again for All Citizens https://alabamapolicy.org/2021/06/16/leaders-of-birmingham-should-use-stimulus-funds-to-make-the-city-magic-again-for-all-citizens/ Wed, 16 Jun 2021 15:25:49 +0000 https://alabamapolicy.org/?p=19568 The City of Birmingham will use nearly a quarter of its first round of federal stimulus payments from the American Rescue Act to provide one time bonuses to all full and part-time city employees. The bonus payments received final approval from the Jefferson County Personnel Board last week. Full-time employees are set to receive $5,000 […]

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The City of Birmingham will use nearly a quarter of its first round of federal stimulus payments from the American Rescue Act to provide one time bonuses to all full and part-time city employees. The bonus payments received final approval from the Jefferson County Personnel Board last week. Full-time employees are set to receive $5,000 each while part-time workers will get $2,500. In total, the bonuses will cost the city nearly $17 million in fiscal year 2022, which begins July 1st.

But with the myriad of issues facing Birmingham, providing bonuses to city employees raises numerous questions.

First, is it an appropriate use of federal stimulus funding aimed to help alleviate the economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic? The City’s 2021 budget faced a $63 million revenue shortfall, with about one-third of that being made up for through the use of surplus funding. However, only 7% of Birmingham’s full and part-time employees were furloughed as a means to save money. The other 93% of the city’s workforce did not see their salaries impacted by the pandemic, yet they will all receive bonuses.

Beyond the question of whether or not it is a permissible use of federal stimulus funds, is it the best use of those funds?

The proposed fiscal year 2022 budget is $455.5 million, the largest in Birmingham’s history. That doesn’t include the more than $148 million, made in two separate payments, that the city will receive from the American Rescue Act. The proposed city budget already provides a 1.5% cost of living raise for all employees, as well as merit and longevity pay increases. While Birmingham did experience a budget shortfall in fiscal year 2021, Mayor Randall Woodfin projects a full recovery over the next year.

With Birmingham’s projected recovery, as well as the fact that state government actually saw increased revenues in 2020, the argument could be made that state and local governments didn’t need the additional $350 billion bailout from the federal government. But the money is coming regardless, and it’s up to elected officials to ensure that it is used in a way that will benefit all citizens.

Birmingham has a number of serious issues that it could be using American Rescue Act funding to address. One is a shrinking population. Preliminary 2020 Census projections show that Birmingham is number eight on the list of Alabama’s fastest shrinking cities. Providing a one-time bonus to citizens already employed by the city, and who may or may not actually live within its limits, will do nothing to attract new residents.

As Mayor Woodfin has acknowledged himself, Birmingham has also continued to see an increase in homicides over the past several years. From 2017-2020 the city recorded 446 murders. Through June 7, 2021 the city has already added another 51. According to Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics, Birmingham’s murder rate outpaced Chicago, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Detroit, among others, in 2019. In 2020 the city saw the highest number of murders in a quarter century.

While these problems can’t be laid solely on the mayor and other officials, leadership and the priorities identified by those leaders certainly play a role. And this isn’t the first time we’ve seen leadership failures in Birmingham. Last year, API Chief Policy Officer and General Counsel Phil Williams wrote about how Birmingham may be on its way to being known as the “Tragic City” rather than the Magic City. Leadership decisions have not only impacted the economic well being of Birmingham, but also the safety and civil liberties of its citizens.

Birmingham has received a $148 million gift from the federal government, but that doesn’t mean it should be free money. Mayor Woodfin and other elected city leaders owe it to taxpayers to use that money in a way that will improve the lives of all citizens, not just those that happen to work for the city. The money could be used to transform Birmingham, creating a safer city and attracting new businesses that will give people a reason to want to stay or move to Birmingham, rather than fleeing.

Federal stimulus funds could go a long way toward achieving that goal and making this great city “magic” again, but that will only happen if citizens demand real leadership from Birmingham’s elected officials.

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API and Eagle Forum of Alabama Offer Resolution to State School Board Opposing Critical Race Theory https://alabamapolicy.org/2021/06/15/api-and-eagle-forum-of-alabama-offer-resolution-to-state-school-board-opposing-critical-race-theory/ Tue, 15 Jun 2021 20:18:28 +0000 https://alabamapolicy.org/?p=19566 Birmingham, Ala. – Today (June 15th, 2021), the Alabama Policy Institute and Eagle Forum of Alabama offered a resolution to the Alabama State School Board of Education opposing the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in Alabama public schools. The resolution, if adopted, would prohibit public school teachers and administrators from teaching or using curriculum that promotes ideas of […]

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Birmingham, Ala. – Today (June 15th, 2021), the Alabama Policy Institute and Eagle Forum of Alabama offered a resolution to the Alabama State School Board of Education opposing the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in Alabama public schools.

The resolution, if adopted, would prohibit public school teachers and administrators from teaching or using curriculum that promotes ideas of Critical Race Theory, keep teachers from being compelled to discuss current events in the classroom, and ban action civics courses from public schools.

In a letter accompanying the resolution, API’s Chief Policy Officer and General Counsel Phil Williams writes, “No state has come further than Alabama. To allow activist dogma to now enter into the classrooms of our children and tell them they have no real hope because they are oppressed as a birthright – or that they are an oppressor by virtue of their skin color – is antithetical to the harmony and social equity that the laws of this state have been amended to protect.”

The full resolution as submitted to the Alabama State School Board of Education is available here. The accompanying letter from API is available here.

Founded in 1989, API is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational organization dedicated to strengthening free enterprise, defending limited government, and championing strong families. 

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Pastors and Politics: A Conversation with Bishop Jim Lowe https://alabamapolicy.org/2021/06/11/pastors-and-politics-a-conversation-with-bishop-jim-lowe/ Fri, 11 Jun 2021 05:00:53 +0000 https://alabamapolicy.org/?p=19559 On this edition of the 1819 Podcast, API’s Scott Stantis and Parker Snider sit down with Bishop Jim Lowe, an API Distinguished Fellow and Senior Pastor of Guiding Light Church in Birmingham, to discuss whether or not pastors should be involved in the political process and, if so, to what extent.

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On this edition of the 1819 Podcast, API’s Scott Stantis and Parker Snider sit down with Bishop Jim Lowe, an API Distinguished Fellow and Senior Pastor of Guiding Light Church in Birmingham, to discuss whether or not pastors should be involved in the political process and, if so, to what extent.

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Huntsville Radio: Phil Williams Guest Hosts the Dale Jackson Show https://alabamapolicy.org/2021/06/09/huntsville-radio-phil-williams-guest-hosts-the-dale-jackson-show/ Wed, 09 Jun 2021 20:35:04 +0000 https://alabamapolicy.org/?p=19555 Wednesday morning, API’s Chief Policy Officer and General Counsel Phil Williams guest-hosted the Dale Jackson Show on WVNN 730 AM 925 FM. Listen below.

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Wednesday morning, API’s Chief Policy Officer and General Counsel Phil Williams guest-hosted the Dale Jackson Show on WVNN 730 AM 925 FM. 

Listen below.

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Mobile Radio: Phil Williams Previews Scorecard on the Jeff Poor Show https://alabamapolicy.org/2021/06/09/mobile-radio-phil-williams-previews-scorecard-on-the-jeff-poor-show/ Wed, 09 Jun 2021 14:38:43 +0000 https://alabamapolicy.org/?p=19550 On Tuesday morning, API’s Phil Williams appeared on the Jeff Poor Show to preview the API Watchlist, our legislative scorecard, coming out next month. Listen below.

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On Tuesday morning, API’s Phil Williams appeared on the Jeff Poor Show to preview the API Watchlist, our legislative scorecard, coming out next month. Listen below.

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Abortion: Will the Mississippi case in front of the Supreme Court change its legal status? https://alabamapolicy.org/2021/06/04/abortion-will-the-mississippi-case-in-front-of-the-supreme-court-change-its-legal-status/ Fri, 04 Jun 2021 05:00:00 +0000 https://alabamapolicy.org/?p=19544 On this edition of the 1819 Podcast, host Scott Stantis is joined by Matt Clark, Executive Director of the Alabama Center for Law & Liberty (ACLL), API’s litigation arm. Together, they discuss the case from Mississippi that is going to the Supreme Court that could change the status of abortion in our country, as well […]

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On this edition of the 1819 Podcast, host Scott Stantis is joined by Matt Clark, Executive Director of the Alabama Center for Law & Liberty (ACLL), API’s litigation arm. Together, they discuss the case from Mississippi that is going to the Supreme Court that could change the status of abortion in our country, as well as some of the other legal work in which the ACLL is currently engaged. Learn more about the Alabama Center for Law & Liberty at alabamalawandliberty.org.

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