Rock that Primary – March 3rd Election Info

The Alabama primary is days away on Tuesday, March 3rd!  #bethechange and make sure your voice is heard by voting (and telling your family and friends to vote)!

Special thanks to Chris Christie, attorney extraordinaire and former candidate, Lauren Roberts from A+ Education Partnerships, and all the amazing candidates who presented at our meeting this month.

Read on for some voting tips for the March 3rd Primary.

Sample ballots for the March 3rd Primary for both parties can be found by looking up your county here. If you want to know which specific ballot is yours, call the Jefferson County Board of Registrars at (205) 325-5550 and give them your name and address.

presented by Chris Christie

  • To vote, present an acceptable ID and choose Democratic or Republican primary ballot.
  • For a Presidential delegate vote to count, voter must vote for delegate’s Presidential candidate.
  • Voter can take a sample ballot into polling place (precinct); cannot share it inside.
  • Voter can have anyone, except employer or union, help voter vote (helper must sign).
  • Voter over 70 or disabled may ask to go to the front of the line.
  • Voter can ask to have a replacement ballot if voter spoils (messes up) ballot.
  • Voter can wear campaign buttons and shirts while voting; don’t draw attention to them inside.
  • Voter should not take photos inside or outside polling places.
  • Campaigning permitted at polling place but must be at least 30 feet from entrance.
  • Acceptable IDs include valid Alabama Driver’s License, Non-driver’s identification card, passport, government ID, or post-high school student ID. Valid means ID not expired 60 days after election. List of acceptable photo IDs here!
  • Vote by provisional ballot if voter (1) forgot to bring acceptable ID, (2) is not on list of eligible voters and registrar or probate judge cannot verify registration, (3) inspector challenges, (4) voter requested but did not vote absentee ballot, or (5) court orders voting time extended and vote during extended time. Also, provisional voter completes Voter Re-identification/Update Form.
  • If voter list shows voter as inactive or if Registrar or Probate Judge verify registration, voter completes Voter Re-identification/Update Form and does not complete Provisional Ballot
  • If voter moved in same county and did not re-register, vote provisional at new polling place.
  • Vote where you live. If changed address, re-register at least 14 days before. Easy to do online.
  • To register online, one must have a valid Alabama Driver’s License or valid Non-driver’s identification card. Online voter registration here!
  • Register to vote at least 14 days before an election. To register, one must be 18 or older, a United States and Alabama citizen, not have been adjudged “mentally incompetent,” and not have been convicted of a disqualifying felony. Disqualifying felonies (Crimes of Moral Turpitude, Ala. Code § 17-3-30.1) listed here.
  • Locate voter’s polling place and Districts (need address or need Last Name and DOB) here!
  • Check voting status (active or inactive) and Districts (need First and Last name and DOB) here!
  • Voter fraud can be reported to the Secretary of State online, by 800 number, by fax or by mail here!
  • Alabama Election Laws can be found here!

Absentee Voting Eligibility
If a voter wants to vote absentee, an easy way is to go to Room 500, Jefferson County Courthouse, 716 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd., Birmingham, AL 35203-0115.

For Absentee voting information, including applications by mail, visit here. Below is quoted from this same site:

A voter may cast an absentee ballot if he or she

  • IS ILL OR HAS A PHYSICAL DISABILITY that prevents a trip to the polling place
  • IS A REGISTERED ALABAMA VOTER LIVING OUTSIDE THE COUNTY, such as a member of the armed forces, a voter employed outside the United States, a college student, or a spouse or child of such a person
  • IS AN APPOINTED ELECTION OFFICER OR POLL WATCHER at a polling place other than his or her regular polling place
  • EXPECTS TO WORK A REQUIRED SHIFT, 10-HOURS OR MORE, that coincides with polling hours
  • IS A CAREGIVER for a family member to the second degree of kinship by affinity or consanguinity and the family member is confined to his or her home
  • IS CURRENTLY INCARCERATED in prison or jail and has not been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude

The deadline to submit an absentee ballot application is the 5th day prior to the election.

EMERGENCY ABSENTEE VOTING applications can be made after the absentee deadline but no later than 5 PM on the day before the election, if the voter:

  • is required by an employer under unforeseen circumstances to be unavailable at the polls on the day of the election
  • is a caregiver of a person who requires emergency treatment by licensed physician within five days before an election
  • has a family member to the second degree of kinship by affinity or consanguinity die within five days before an election

MEDICAL EMERGENCY ABSENTEE VOTING applications can be made by a voter who has a medical emergency requiring treatment from a licensed physician within 5 days of an election. During that 5 day period, the medical emergency absentee ballot application and the voted absentee ballot must be returned no later than noon on the day the election is held. The medical emergency absentee ballot application requires that the attending physician describe and certify the circumstances as constituting an emergency. The voter may designate someone to turn in the medical emergency absentee ballot application, receive the absentee ballot on behalf of the voter, and return the voted absentee ballot to the Absentee Election Manager on behalf of the voter.

presented by Lauren Roberts, A+ Education Partnership, VP Strategic Communications & Development

The text of the amendment will read:
“Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to change the name of the State Board of Education to the Alabama Commission on Elementary and Secondary Education; to provide for the appointment of the members of the commission by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate; to change the name of the State Superintendent of Education to the Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education; to provide for the appointment of the secretary by the commission, subject to confirmation by the Senate; and to authorize the Governor to appoint a team of local educators and other officials to advise the commission on matters relating to the functioning and duties of the State Department of Education.”

Followed by a “Yes ( ) No ( )”

Lauren’s presentation included arguments for and against the amendment:


For more information on the amendment by the Fair Ballot Commission, click here. Go Vote!

Anti-bullying/Anti-bias Initiative

H.I.V.E.’s anti-bullying/anti-bias campaign is back and we’re so excited to be partnering once again with area schools. This year, we’re providing books, stickers, bookmarks, and supplies of each schools’ choosing. And we’re so excited to add even more schools to our list:

  • Creative Montessori
  • Edgewood Elementary School
  • Fairfield Preparatory High School
  • Hall Kent Elementary School
  • Shades Cahaba Elementary School
  • Homewood High School
  • Wenonah High School

Please click here to learn more. You can purchase a specific book for a school or contribute to the sticker/bookmark/supply fund. Thanks so much for your fabulousness and generosity with this important initiative.

Rock the Primary: What’s on Your Ballot?

Rock the Primary_ What's on your ballot_

Join us as the Greater Birmingham Democrats, H.I.V.E. and MAD (Make a Difference) in Alabama host “Rock the Primary: What’s on Your Ballot?” on Thursday, February 13, 2020 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the large auditorium of the Homewood Library (1721 Oxmoor Rd). Just in time for the primary on March 3rd, hear from the democratic candidates on the ballot, and learn more about the presidential delegates and school board amendment. Be informed!

Alabama Legislative Preview Re-cap


H.I.V.E. held an Alabama Legislative Preview on Wednesday, January 15th! The main message from all our amazing presenters was “Your voice is needed!” It’s important to find an issue(s) that you care about, learn more, and to lend your voice to those causes. Contact your legislatures and talk with your family and friends! #beinformed #befabulous #bethechange

Not sure who your legislators are? Click here for more info. 

Thanks to these fabulous folks doing amazing work in our state. Sign up on their mailing lists for easy ways to get involved and get informed. And join them on their upcoming legislative days to get a first-hand look at our state government in action and to advocate for the issues you believe in!

Representative Neil Rafferty, House District 54

The upcoming session begins Tuesday, February 4, 2020. Currently Neil is one of 105 members of the house/one of 28 democrats. There are 35 senators/8 democrats.


Hot topics for the upcoming session include:

  • Budget – the budget currently has a surplus and discussion will center around what to do with the money. Ideas include Medicaid expansion, funding the general transportation fund, mental health in schools, saving the money
  • Prisons – responding to DOJ report on prison conditions, building of new prisons
  • Workforce development
  • Mental health resources for students
  • Gaming/lottery bills

A pre-filled bills that democrats will be fighting:

  • House Bill 20 – Requires public K-12 school students to use their biological gender as it appears on their birth certificate to determine sporting events in which they can participate

Issues that democrats will be taking up this session:

  • Red flag laws – permits police or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to others or themselves
  • Voting rights
  • Elimination of the Grocery tax
  • Maternal mortality review panel – establishing and funding
  • Reviewing access to care

Issues Neil’s passionate about:

  • Modernizing language regarding sex education
  • Establishing syringe exchange programs
  • Veteran suicide task force
  • Nondiscrimination clauses
  • Strengthening anti-bullying laws
  • Removing tax on solar panel
  • Pregnant workers fairness act
  • Low income housing regulation

Alabama Appleseed (
Appleseed is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to achieve justice and equality for all Alabamians. Through policy analysis, research and documentation, public education, community organizing, litigation, and more, they work to change the root causes of injustice.

Issues Appleseed will be addressing this legislative session:

  • Three Strikes law – supporting legislation that would give people sentenced to die in prison for crimes where there was no physical harm a second look
  • Payday loan reform – supporting the 30 Days to Pay bill, mandating 30 day loan terms
  • Drivers license reform – prohibiting suspension of drivers license for any reason except for dangerous driving
  • Diversion task force – supporting legislation that will create a task force to standardize diversion practices and end user fee structures
  • Marijuana – supporting legislation that reclassifies possession as a fine only, civil offense
  • Improving re-entry – supporting legislation that increases state spending on vocational/educational programs in prison, providing birth certificates, drivers licenses, etc upon release, and giving people 6 months outside of prison before they begin paying their fines
  • Open records reform

How you can help!


Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (

Mom is a grassroots movement fighting for public safety measures that protect people from gun violence by passing stronger gun laws and working to close loopholes.


  • Alabama has the 3rd highest rate of gun deaths in the U.S.
  • On average, 961 people die of guns in Alabama (55% of gun deaths are suichdes and 41% homicides)
  • The rate of gun deaths in Alabama has increased 32% from 2008 to 2017 compared to a 17% increase over the same time period nationwide

Issues Moms will be addressing this legislative session:

  • Opposing permitless carry in Alabama (pre-filed Senate Bill 1) which would remove Alabama’s concealed handgun permit requirement, allowing people to carry concealed loaded handguns in public.
  • Supporting Red Flag laws – temporary removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to others or themselves. 15 states and DC have enacted Red Flag laws which have been shown to reduce the risk of firearm suicide.

How you can help!

* Text READY to 64433 so that you can receive emails and texts from the local Moms Birmingham group


The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham (

Mission is to accelerate economic opportunity for women and their families through philanthropy, research, and advocacy.


  • Only 29 out of 67 counties in Alabama have a hospital that offers obstetrical care
  • 490,000 of women in Alabama are living in poverty, including 48% of all single women heads of households with children.
  • Alabama has the second lowest labor participation rate in the country. The Alabama Workforce Council predicts a shortage of 500,000 skilled workers by 2025. Considered together, these stats speak to not only a problem but a potential solution.

The Women’s Fund will release their advocacy agenda beginning of February so join the mailing list to get more info.

How you can help!

2020! Alabama Legislative Preview & Judicial Forum

Alabama Legislative Preview

alabama-state-capitolJoin us for an Alabama Legislative Session Preview on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church (4300 Hampton Heights Dr, 35209). Hear from Representative Neil Rafferty as he gives us a brief overview of the legislature and the big issues in the upcoming session. Then hear from amazing groups Alabama Appleseed, Moms Demand Action, and the Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham as they discuss the issues that matter most and ways you can get involved to move the needle in our great state.

Judicial Forum for Democratic Candidates

justiceH.I.V.E., Greater Birmingham Democrats, and MAD (Make a Difference) in Alabama will be hosting a Judicial Forum on Thursday, February 13, 2020 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the large auditorium of the Homewood Library (1721 Oxmoor Rd., Homewood, AL 35209). Just in time for the primary on March 3rd, learn all about the judgeships and hear from the candidates. Be informed! Be fabulous!

Drive for Mental Health Bags


We’re so grateful for the amazing Donna Burgess and her time with us as she shared her family’s personal story of mental illness this week at our H.I.V.E. Brown Bag.

In honor of Donna, H.I.V.E. has committed to making 25 mental health bags for JBS (Jefferson/Blount/St. Clair) Mental Health Authority, which provides individualized mental health services to youth and adults in a manner that encourages resilience and wellness. These bags will be delivered to JBS for distribution to individuals moving from hospitals to group homes. Please click here to see how you can help!

H.I.V.E. Brown Bag on Mental Illness – Monday, 11/18 at 11:30 a.m.

brown bag

H.I.V.E. Brown Bag – Mental Illness
Monday, November 18th
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

304 Woodland Dr, Homewood, AL 35209


Please join us as the amazing Donna Burgess shares her personal story of mental illness in her son and family through the harsh years of onset, the struggle of acceptance and the “new normal” of recovery. Through her experience, strength and hope you are invited to a new awareness and understanding of mental illness and the urgent need to erase stigma and misunderstanding. Your presence, interest and concern are a sign of healing and hope to those who live with mental illness and those who love and care for them.

Understanding Awareness & Empathy Workshop this Monday, 10/28


Join us this Monday, October 28th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Homewood Public Library (1721 Oxmoor Rd, Homewood, AL 35209) as the amazing T. Marie King guides us through dialogue and exercises that will challenge our beliefs and force us to examine the wo(man) in the mirror. In this workshop, we hope to empower the ability to talk about race and the ability to be more empathetic. We hope to create an environment where participants can identify, address, and eliminate their own individual biases so that we are able to connect with diverse communities. Please join us for this important exercise in understanding more about ourselves and our neighbors.

Co-hosted with Birmingham Islamic SocietyJefferson County Memorial Project Homewood CommitteeThe Listening ProjectMAD? Make a Difference Alabama, and the Magic City Acceptance Center.  Click here for more info.

Special thanks to Marz Lang and her amazing design!!

Ambassador Training – Monday, 10/7

JCMPJefferson County Memorial Project
Ambassador Training
Monday, October 7th, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Unitarian Universalist, 4300 Hampton Heights Dr, Birmingham, AL 35209

JCMP Trainings are meant to give people a deeper understanding of our county’s history and the tools to have these conversations with others. During the training, we will:

  • Learn about our county’s history of racial terror by discussing profiles in JCMP’s 30 Residents Report
  • Discuss best practices for having conversations about race and this history with friends and family
  • Hear feedback and ideas about what you want to see from JCMP as we move forward

This event is free and open to all. Please sign up to reserve your spot! 

Reading/Discussion with Author Kwoya Fagin Maples

Join us for a very special HIVE Books as we discuss Mend: Poems with author Kwoya Fagin Maples on Saturday, 9/21 at 9:30 a.m. at Seeds Coffee (174 Oxmoor Rd). Kwoya will have books on hand to sell/sign ($20 by cash/check/square).

About “Mend: Poems”
The inventor of the speculum, J. Marion Sims, is celebrated as the “father of modern gynecology,” and a memorial at his birthplace honors “his service to suffering women, empress and slave alike.” These tributes whitewash the fact that Sims achieved his surgical breakthroughs by experimenting on eleven enslaved African American women. Lent to Sims by their owners, these women were forced to undergo operations without their consent. Today, the names of all but three of these women are lost.

In Mend: Poems, Kwoya Fagin Maples gives voice to the enslaved women named in Sims’s autobiography: Anarcha, Betsey, and Lucy. In poems exploring imagined memories and experiences relayed from hospital beds, the speakers challenge Sims’s lies, mourn their trampled dignity, name their suffering in spirit, and speak of their bodies as “bruised fruit.” At the same time, they are more than his victims, and the poems celebrate their humanity, their feelings, their memories, and their selves. A finalist for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Donald Hall Prize for Poetry, this debut collection illuminates a complex and disturbing chapter of the African American experience.

About Kwoya:
Kwoya Fagin Maples is a writer from Charleston, S.C. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama and is a graduate Cave Canem Fellow. She is the author of Mend (University Press of Kentucky, 2018). In addition to a chapbook publication by Finishing Line Press entitled Something of Yours (2010) her work is published in several journals and anthologies including Blackbird Literary Journal, Obsidian, Berkeley Poetry Review, The African-American Review, Pluck!, Cave Canem Anthology XIII, The Southern Women’s Review, and Sow’s Ear Poetry Review. Her most recent poetry collection, Mend, was finalist for the AWP Prize. Mend tells the story of the birth of gynecology and the role black enslaved women played in that process. This work received a grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation.

Maples teaches Creative Writing at the Alabama School of Fine Arts and directs a three-dimensional poetry exhibit which features poetry and visual art including original paintings, photography, installations and film.