New group tackles Jefferson County leadership problems

By Alan Collins

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A new group wants to tackle some of the major problems facing Jefferson County.

The non-profit group is called Leadership Jefferson County. Organizers said it will be based on other leadership groups such as Leadership Birmingham and Leadership Alabama.  

So far 30 members have joined and the group wants another 30 to sign up.  The list includes the dean of the Birmingham School of Law.

"Given the fact we have 23 municipalities, we are so segmented in Jefferson County that this umbrella will help address that," James Bushnell said.

As for those issues, Leadership Jefferson County wants to address the possible loss of millions of a dollars from the new occupational which is facing a court challenge, as well as the $3 billion sewer bond debt.

Jefferson County Commissioner-elect George Bowman says the organization can help find solutions.

"We will have different ideas that will have to be brought to the table," Bowman said. "Different solutions that will be brought to the table from people not inside the courthouse."

Bowman remains an advocate for Cooper Green Mercy Hospital and not selling the Jefferson Co. Rehabilitation and Health Center, the county run nursing home. Bowman hopes the group will help his cause.   
Non-profits are seeking a voice. Tony Cooper of the Jimmie Hale Mission says Leadership Jefferson County may help with their funding problems.

"Try to get over, to me, some of the mistrust," Cooper said. "As a non-profit we need to be inclusive. We need to welcome ideas from all over."

Anyone interested in joining Leadership Jefferson County can contact Executive Director Anthony Johnson at

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