Congresswoman Terri Sewell, alongside Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and an assortment of different state and local officials, announced on Friday a $3 million investment of federal funding for the North Birmingham Community Development Rehabilitation Project, according to a statement from her office Friday.
The funds were serviced in the Fiscal Year 2022 Government Funding Package, according to Sewell, and were delivered in a check on Friday. The funds will go towards redevelopment plans for the former North Birmingham Elementary School, which was closed in 2012, and long-standing environmental concerns present in the area.
The announcement comes after ProPublica released a monumental investigative article detailing the environmental injustices still experienced by members of the North Birmingham community due to industrial plants in the area that have polluted the air and land in the historically Black district.
“This community has suffered from environmental injustice for far too long, and the people of North Birmingham know just how critical it is that we invest in clean-up and revitalization,” Sewell said in a statement released on Friday. “This $3 million in federal funding will make a big difference for this community by helping to redevelop the former North Birmingham Elementary School and address long-standing environmental concerns. I fought hard to secure this critical federal assistance in this year’s government funding package, and I’m so excited to see it come to our community. I’ll continue working to make our communities cleaner, healthier, and more vibrant here in the 7th Congressional District!”
Mayor Woodfin, himself from North Birmingham, said that the funds would “help in righting some of the wrongs from decades of neglect” in a statement released on Friday.
“As a child of North Birmingham, I am particularly grateful,” Woodfin said. “I lived here, went to school here and know that justice is long overdue. Today says that we have not been forgotten. Thank you Congresswoman Terri Sewell for always supporting the people of Birmingham.”
Over $8 million in funds have been secured for redevelopment projects, including the former North Birmingham Elementary School, in Alabama’s 7th Congressional District, according to Sewell.