Dear Attorney General Lynch,
Welcome to Birmingham,
Although we have not never met, we share a kinship. We are both black women born in the segregated south. You attended Harvard; I was an Associate Dean there. We both are mothers. Most importantly, we both have an unyielding support for justice and equality.
As the President of the Citizens Coalition for a Better Birmingham, we have sought to bring about accountability, transparency and full disclosure when the mayor and city council spend taxpayer dollars.
During your brief visit we hope you tour those neighborhoods that are often neglected: SouthTown Public Housing, Loveman Village, and Gate City to name just a few.
Recently, the Director of the FBI stated that “America is at the crossroads for race relations and police and community relations.” I agree with those comments and ask you to insure that any Violence Reduction Plan be fair, constitutional and have measures for success.
Birmingham, like much of America, is the tale of two cities. The development downtown does not mask the poverty, blight and crime that is a few minutes from downtown.
As you participate in the Community Policing Roundtable, I would urge that the role of poverty, illiteracy, generational corruption and the ongoing lack of concern on the part of our city officials for many of our neighborhoods be components of that discussion.
If the Violence Reduction Plan is to be understood and successful cast a broad net in your discussions.
Brenda Dickerson, Ph.D
Citizens Coalition for a Better Birmingham