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Report: Dem lawmakers fail to vote for diversity amendment for Birmingham board

An amendment to increase diversity on the Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau board failed when Dem lawmakers didn’t vote.

Birmingham, Alabama

An amendment that would have guaranteed that the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau racial makeup remained reflective of the city’s demographics failed after two Black lawmakers on the Jefferson County legislative delegation failed to support it, according to a report from Jefferson Iva at 360 News. 

The amendment, which was presented by longtime Rep. Mary Moore during a Jefferson County delegation meeting, was tied to a bill from Rep. David Faulkner that sought to add an additional member to the Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors. The amendment was listed as a “diversity amendment,” according to Iva, and Moore spoke about its importance and the importance of making sure the board remained reflective of the overall Birmingham area. 

Such diversity is a particularly touchy topic in Jefferson County, where Republicans have used a variety of gerrymandering tactics to ensure white Republicans maintain a single-vote edge. Also, the racial makeup of the Convention and Visitors Bureau board has received quite a bit of criticism in recent years. 

Even with the Republican majority in the Jefferson County delegation, though, Moore’s diversity amendment was likely to pass, according to Iva. 

Except, Democratic Reps. Juandalynn Givan and Patrick Sellers chose not to vote on the amendment. It failed by a single vote, according to Iva. 

“This was a golden opportunity to right a wrong,” Iva wrote, “but failed for lack of support.” 

Iva noted that Faulkner promised to ensure that the board makeup would change to reflect the demographics of the community. But he also noted that similar promises have been made – and not honored – in the past.

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Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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