Birmingham mayor slams Alabama Confederate memorial laws as state leaders aim to increase removal fines

Birmingham Alabama Mayor, Randall Woodfin
Birmingham, Alabama Confederate momument cover up
Birmingham, Ala.: Using plywood panels, Birmingham city workers cover the Confederate Monument in Linn Park, in defiance of the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act. The ciyy was fined $25,000. August 15, 2017, on orders from Mayor William Bell. Joe Songer / via AP
Alabama may sometimes seem like a state stuck in the past. From the Civil war to the fight for Civil rights, Alabama has managed to land on the wrong side of history on many occasions.

Birmingham mayor Randall Woodfin is aiming to rehabilitate Alabama’s image. Woodfin is fighting to get the Confederate statues that stand in downtown Birmingham out of the city, “We should not be debating about whether or not to keep a monument erected in defense of slavery in the 4th blackest city in America. It is offensive, it is wrong and it is the exact opposite of progress.”

Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama with the city and its surrounding areas accounting for about 1 million people.

Birmingham has one of the highest numbers of black residents in the United States and Woodfin believes if Alabama continues to live in the past, it will hurt its future.

“I am fighting to attract and keep the best and brightest talent to our welcoming city, not protecting hurtful monuments of the past.”

In 2017 the Republican-led state legislator introduced the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act, requiring local governments to obtain state approval before moving or renaming monuments and historical buildings. Republican Governor Kay Ellen Ivey signed it into law. Violators of the law are subject to a $25,000 maximum fine.

Earlier this week, Republican State Senator, Gerald Allen introduced a bill that would increase the fine on cities from $25,000 total, to $10,000 per day.

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