Brian K. Rice, The Community Engineer
Below I have added links related Allegations of PUBLIC CORRUPTION from Mayor Randall Woodfin and the City of Birmingham and others that have Obstructed Commerce in majority Black Business Districts and Neighborhoods in Birmingham
Documents and links to video content regarding Obstruction of Commerce in Black Communities in Birmingham, AL are shown below
1: Full Unedited Opportunity Zone Letter Mayor Woodfin Sent to Gov Kay Ivey (Just Uploaded - 8 20-2021)
3: Zip Code Scoring Chart sent to Gov Ivey with Brian K. Rice highlights of Ensley 35218. Please look up your zip code for false information as sent to Governor Kay Ivey (8-20-2021)
4:Brian K. Rice highlights show High Priority List for Census Tracts, which was approved in the exact order sent to the Governor
6: This link show every Birmingham Business Journal opportunity zone announcement by article and then page 2 show where all the major investments have been since 2017 - 2021 which show Distressed West side left out and all the developments in Center City and UAB area where there is abundance
7: This article is from Birmingham Business Alliance where both Randal Woodfin and Synovus Bank sit on the executive committee stating their support for helping with "Racial Disparities"
8: Brian K. Rice at City Hall with Josh Carpenter, Randall Woodfin, Irvin Henderson, and John Hilliard
10: Full Video of Podcast discussing Federal Complaint with Lonnie Malone and clips of Terri Sewell, Randall Woodfin, Josh Carpenter, Nelson Bean, Darrell O'Quinn, William Bell, LaShunda Scales, and other public official
11: Banking Summit with Federal Regulators come to Ensley due to redlining through Brian K. Rice advocacy
Content Below are for those heavily involved with Redlining, Devaluation, and Exclusion of Ensley
12:Synovus Bank, Birmingham Division CEO, Nelson Bean, the Bank that continued with Obstruction of Commerce of me adding to the letter of support already excluding Ensley from Opportunity Zones. This link is audio of Nelson Bean admitting he should have got Bill Inabinet "OUT OF THE WAY" around the 27min-30min mark. Synovus did not assign me a Commercial Banker for 8+ months and they knew it. In this audio, Nelson also talk about his relationship and connections to Josh Carpenter. Right before Bill Inabinet hung up the phone and sent over the $0.00 appraisal, his last words were" YOU AIN'T GOING TO LIKE IT". There is much more if necessary. I just want the Bank of Here to do right and support me and this community through their mission statement and statements on diversity and inclusion. We have been hurting to long and any $32 Billion company can help us stop the hurt. Link to Synovus Leadership at the headquarters. Link to Synovus Board of Directors. Link to community outreach and foundation page. Link to the Bank of Her video by Synovus Bank where Synovus made a promise to the community. My High School in Birmingham is actually in their video. Contact the Board of Directors on my behalf and ask them to help. There names are below.
13: CBRE, CB Richard Ellis you are the largest appraisal company in the U.S. and world and this entire fraudulent process all extended because of your local appraisers Barry Harvill and Ron Neyhart comparing my buildings to farm land and a abandoned car wash. CBRE has a assets well over $100 Billion. Link to the Board of Directors. Link to the CEO and all executive officers. CI looked up my neighbors last name, Omar Harvill to see if he was related to Barry Harvill the appraiser that gave me the $0.00 appraisal. I learn that the Omar Harvill African American lineage come from the same Selma, AL plantation where Barry Harvill Great Great Grandparents enslaved the African Descendants who took the Harvill name. Link to Barry Harvill page. CBRE you can stop the hurt of this community today. We don't need much but we need fairness and we need resources you also helped lock our community from. Link to Ethics and Compliance Page. Link to Tim Desmond, African American, Chief Responsibility Office. CBRE Foundation can extend their hands page. Link to CBRE Corporate Responsibility page. Link to CBRE Investor Relations Page. Contact their board of directors and leadership on my behalf. Their names are below.
14: UAB, University of Alabama at Birmingham, you are the financial stability of Birmingham. You are the largest employer in the state. You are the wealthiest University in the state of Alabama. (link to UAB community engagement page.) For those in Birmingham please reach out the the UAB Board of Directors on the behalf of Ensley and all the communities left out for the the most affluent area in the entire state of Alabama, Census tract 45 which was directed funds for distressed and struggling economically under double employee (double agent) Josh Carpenter who worked both for UAB and the City of Birmingham as the head of economic development for the city simultaneously. For those in Birmingham or Alumni or UAB please reach out to the Office of Compliance and Risk Assurance on my behalf and on the behalf of Ensley and all the neighborhoods left out. Please reach out to the ethical concerns contacts on our behalf. You are connected to every major economic fabric in this city. You are the economic, hospital, and university leader in the state and it is undeniable. You have built essentially a second city within Birmingham in Census Tract 45. You are the most affluent. You have a wealth unimaginable when it come to distressed communities like Ensley, Pratt City, Wylam, West End, Central Park, Bush Hills, Fairview, Powderly, Sherman Heights, Dolomite and so many other areas. You under the leadership of CEO, Ray Watts (link to Ray Watts) has had the ability to invest BILLION AFTER BILLION into Census Tract 45. Nothing about Census Tract 45 is struggling economically and is considered distressed per Josh Carpenter who is a son of UAB and Rhodes Scholar. Cecil Rhodes unfortunately has a past that has done a lot of harm to Africans so I am hoping that is not where Josh got his spirit to exclude those in need like Ensley under your watch. I have a Joseph Spirit. The moment I shared my dream I was exiled by city economic development leaders. I look forward to our conversation on how UAB can help Ensley move forward. Ensley has the highest homicide rate of any community in Birmingham. If UAB invest in the people and business here we can unflood the emergency rooms with gunshots wounds. We have no jobs. We have no after school programs here. We have no banks we can go to. We have not city investing in the people and existing businesses here. A few years ago local citizens and alumni were protesting asking for resignation over shutting down UAB football. Today and one of Randall Woodfin's first major decisions, he invested $90 million into a stadium for UAB who has annual budget north of $5 billion versus a city budget just north of $400 million. A little bit of the resources at UAB can turn this important community and others around. Help us create a healthy and balanced community with your abundant resources. Contact the board and leadership on my behalf and on behalf of our communities. We need to correct what is going on in Birmingham before the Feds arrive. The evidence is overwhelming. Reach out to them and help us help our communities.
15. The City of Birmingham, Mayor Randall Woodfin, City Council, Community Development, City Attorneys, Economic Development, Office of Social Justice and Racial Equality, and Executive Leadership, The letter sent to Governor Kay Ivey is written in black and white. It is full of legal cause and material facts excluding Downtown Ensley and several other majority Black Business Districts and Neighborhoods. I have a Joseph spirit. I don't want anyone to go to jail for fraud that excluded our communities. We need resources we have been locked out of from 1871 - 2021. The City of Birmingham is built on Steel, Iron, Coal, Limestone and now Healthcare. Let's go back into history, this city is built on the backs of the second clause in the 13th Amendment that allowed steel "Barons" to arrest Black men, women, and boys at will whenever they needed life risking or manual labor activities done to mine the coal after the dynamite goes into the whole or pave the streets in Jefferson County and so many more needs. U.S. Steel (aka T.C.I.) main plant was in Downtown Ensley and tens of thousands of former enslaved people were re-enslaved well after the Civil War (1865) up through the 1900s that allowed Birmingham to have the cheapest steel in the country. It was cheap because 45 to 55 percent of the labor were people, were people, were people arrested on trumped up charges for vagrancy and because they had no money they had to work in the mines for a minimum of 6 months every time the steel barons needed labor who main cost was the grits they ate daily while the free working class men made money to take care of their families. In 1976, in a Birmingham Post Herald article it states "minority" contractors were awarded $476 out of $20 million. In 1983 Birmingham ranked last and was titled "worst metro for Black businesses". In 2016, John Archibald wrote a very needed article titled "Birmingham's failure was not 'gentrification'" and Archibald didn't blame white only. He blame the failure of Black leadership in this article. Under Black leader from 1979-2016, Black Businesses make up sales receipts of less than 2% for a city that is 73%+ Black. We are excluding our own as while sitting back and watching the destruction and demise on nightly news with the next homicide. We have an opportunity to make up for some of the errors of the past. I've watched $13 million in incentives go to wealthy men who turn around in a local article and state we didn't need your money whether you gave it to us or not. I've watched $4 million go to a guy out of NC in Downtown Ensley while Downtown Ensley Business owners are locked out and have been for years. I've watched around $50,000 almost every year for 20+ years in incentives go to Black businesses and 5-7 million and more go to majority white businesses almost every year while Black communities need help to get pass present day and historic redlining to get started, grow, scale, and development. Your opportunity zone letter to Governor Kay Ivey redlined us and locked us out again in Downtown Ensley. Let's have a conversation about healing, resources for those who have been locked out. Randall, I have no issue with you, it is the choices to rule with iron fist, your choice to get write off your own people for providing any constructive feedback, your choice to secure our votes for a myriad of reasons related to real concerns in the Black community and then you turn your back on us when you get in office. Many professionals especially young professionals get their news of you from you on social media and many of them have no idea of obstacles, struggles, and outright opposition we are faced with from your office. I get my news from you, peers and from the elders of my community. I will never exclude my community. Love is first. Love for my community is why I risk everything to show young men on the battlefield of street life that you don't have to choose that life once I and others can get access to resources. We are going to build the next generation up as entrepreneurs and professionals and it is critical that whomever is in leadership, choose equity and equality for those locked out. Just like Saul in the bible changed his choices to lock out the people who he eventually fell in love with, you can change your choices. The remedy for those locked out of resources is to provide resources. I look forward to our discussion with all key leaders excluding none on how we are going to move Ensley Forward.
I, close with the following statement: I will never look down on any of our communities that are blighted and have been locked out of resources after experiencing what I have experienced in Birmingham or any blighted area that is targeted with public disinvestment and redlining, I may cry but I will not look down on those areas AND DEFINITELY NOT THE PEOPLE. I will look directly into the eyes of those in position of authority who have the wealth of public, non profit and corporate resources who continue to operate with a blind eye or who participate in the exploitation of public resources as if there is no concern about the healthy and balanced development of our communities.
We prevent crime that stemmed from the seed and root of lack of opportunity and lack of resources and lost hope by creating hope and opportunity through strategically placed resources thereby creating a whole new set of perceived options before the option of homicide pops in the mind and finished with the pulling of the trigger.
We must create environments where African American small businesses get a fair chance to grow. If we never grow, then the #1 group that will likely hire the most unemployed and underemployed group of men and women in this city and in this country never develop and our society will unfortunately continue to see the unfortunate symptoms of a large segment of people that are systematically locked out.
Brian K. Rice