The Hill We Climb

“The Hill We Climb”
Amanda Gorman

When day comes, we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry. A sea we must wade.
We braved the belly of the beast.
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace, and the norms and notions of what “just” is isn’t always justice.
And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it.
Somehow we do it.
Somehow we weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished.
We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one.
And, yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect.
We are striving to forge our union with purpose.
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.
And so we lift our gaze, not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.
We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside.
We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.
We seek harm to none and harmony for all.
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true.
That even as we grieved, we grew.
That even as we hurt, we hoped.
That even as we tired, we tried.
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious.
Not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division.
Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid.
If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade, but in all the bridges we’ve made.
That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb, if only we dare.
It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit.
It’s the past we step into and how we repair it.
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation, rather than share it.
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.
And this effort very nearly succeeded.
But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated.
In this truth, in this faith we trust, for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.
This is the era of just redemption.
We feared at its inception.
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour.
But within it we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves.
So, while once we asked, how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe, now we assert, how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be: a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free.
We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation, become the future.
Our blunders become their burdens.
But one thing is certain.
If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright.
So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left.
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.
We will rise from the golden hills of the West.
We will rise from the windswept Northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution.
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the Midwestern states.
We will rise from the sun-baked South.
We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover.
And every known nook of our nation and every corner called our country, our people diverse and beautiful, will emerge battered and beautiful.
When day comes, we step out of the shade of flame and unafraid.
The new dawn balloons as we free it.
For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.

Absentee Voting

Every day is Election Day!! The general election on Tuesday, November 3rd is fast approaching and you are able to vote in person at your county courthouse or by mail.  The League of Women Voters has a very helpful sheet with more info here.

Voting Absentee In Person

1. Go to your county’s courthouse (click here to find your county and your absentee ballot request form). ** Please call them beforehand to confirm hours and process.**

2. Bring your application form and a valid form of ID to show (no copy needed). You may also get a ballot request form at the courthouse.

3. If you are voting absentee due to COVID concerns, please check the box “I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls.”

4. You will be provided a ballot and instructions at that time.

Voting By Mail

1. Download your county’s absentee ballot request form here.

2. You will need to include a photocopy of your ID.

3. Mail your request form and ID copy to your county courthouse.

4. If you are voting absentee due to COVID concerns, please check the box “I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls.”

5. Your county courthouse will mail you your absentee ballot.

6. Complete your ballot. You will need two witnesses or a notary to sign your ballot envelope.

7. Mail the ballot back to your courthouse. Must be postmarked by November 2nd or hand delivered to your courthouse by noon on November 3rd.

Click here for all the the good info! If you are planning on voting absentee, please don’t delay!! #bethechange #VOTE

Homewood City Elections – August 25th

VoteLocal_graphic_50We’re sad to say the Meet the Candidates Forums have been cancelled. HIVE is and always will be committed to educating ourselves and our neighbors on issues important to our community. We will continue to champion voter information and engagement in a positive, supportive manner. We’re so proud of ALL who step up to run for office and for those striving to make our city the best it can be.

Read more below to learn about the upcoming elections and to see information on all the candidates. And visit www.cityofhomewood.com/elections and Vote411.org for all the goodness.

Thank you for being engaged in the process. #beinformed #befabulous #VOTE

Homewood City Elections - Ward 1

Homewood City Elections - Ward 1 (1)

Homewood City Elections - Ward 1 (2)


Click here for sample ballots. A list of candidates is below.
(I = Incumbent, * = Unopposed, elected)


COUNCIL PRESIDENT
Alex Wyatt*

WARD 1
Place 1

Andy Gwaltney (I)*

Place 2
Britt Thames (I)
Melanie Geer



WARD 3
Place 1

Walt Harris
Nick Sims
Brady Wilson

Place 2
Walter Jones (I)
Frances Nance
Mark Quimby


WARD 4
Place 1
Barry Smith (I)
Kent Haines

Place 2
Evan Bates
Jalete Nelms


WARD 5
Place 1

Jennifer Andress (I)*

Place 2
John Hardin (I)
Jeff Foster
Zachary Isbell

Primary Run-off Elections – July 14th

 

vote

The Alabama Primary Run-off Election is Tuesday, July 14, 2020.

Deadline to request an absentee ballot: Thursday, July 9th

  • Request a ballot here.
  • Attorney Chris Christie recently did a presentation for our friends with the Vestavia Democrats on absentee voting. Click here for the video presentation and here for the informational handout.
  • Please note you may vote absentee in the run-off election if you are concerned about COVID-19. Please check this box on your absentee voting application: “I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls.”
  • Currently, a copy of your valid photo identification must be submitted along with this application.

Deadline to return completed absentee ballot:

  • By mail must be postmarked no later than Monday, July 13th and received by the Absentee Election Manager no later than noon on election day. In-person must be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, July 13th

Be Informed, Be the Change

Friends,
The past several weeks have been heavy on our hearts as our nation mourns yet another life stolen away by injustice. But we also see the light in our friends who are leading, educating, serving, and organizing all around us. Below are several ways to listen, learn, and help.

Alabama Rally Against Injustice

Leading solidarity rallies all over the state. Follow their Facebook page for more info and to donate.

 


 

Bail Fund
Peaceful protestors are still being arrested on a nightly basis (most of them youth/young adults). Click here to contribute to the Nobody Left Behind Bail Fund.

 


Be a Blessing Birmingham
Executive Director Star Robb works tirelessly to serve our neighbors (she’s also been taking care of protestors on a nightly basis, paying bail, and staying until everyone is released). Click here for more info and to donate.

Also, Star’s been working on a special campaign to purchase a mobile shower unit for our homeless neighbors. Please donate and share.


Faith in Action
Faith in Action Alabama is calling on the Birmingham City Council and Mayor Woodfin to redirect funds from the Birmingham Police Department budget to other social services including their Peacemaker Campaign to support anti-gun violence street outreach strategies. PLEASE CALL Mayor Woodfin and city council members at (205) 254-2000.


Jefferson County Memorial Project
JCMP hosts Ethics of Remembering, on Saturday, June 20th from 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. This community conversation will explore community memory, political memory, and how to seek justice by remembering what was forgotten. Join JCMP and panelist, Rev Jennifer Sanders, Dr. Brandon Wolfe and Rev. Michael Malcom as we discuss the ethics of remembering. Click here for more info.


STAIR Birmingham
Through one-on-one tutoring, STAIR Birmingham works to close the reading gap by empowering students with the tools to read better. STAIR is still working hard with virtual tutoring, read aloud videos, and a special Pages for the Pandemic book drive. Can you help get 10 books into the hands of 250 STAIR students? Click here to donate! 

 

New ways to help our neighbors

trinity

Blood Drive Trinity will host a blood drive in partnership with the Red Cross on Tuesday, May 5 in the Oxmoor campus gym from 9:30 a.m.– 3:30 p.m. For an appointment, call the Red Cross at 1-800-733-2767, download the Blood Donor App, or go online to https://buff.ly/n08FHz and enter sponsor code: TUMCHWD. To save time, complete your Rapid Pass before you arrive.

NOTE: All donors will need a photo ID and will be required to wear a mask. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided.


image

How to celebrate Mother’s Day? It’s Sunday, May 10. This year, especially, with all that’s going on in the world, we are thinking about our mothers – and the other beautiful mother figures in our lives. You can send all of these women something special – and easy/safe to do from home – with a donation to future moms and a beautiful Mother’s Day Card made by our friends at BirthWell Partners Community Doula Project. Send a personalized digital card for $5, or a beautiful, limited edition paper card for $10, and donate any amount you want to BirthWell Partners (BWP). BWP is the only organization of its kind in the state to recruit and train community doulas to offer healthy birthing services for low-resource moms (who are at greater risk for maternal and infant mortality. The deadline for ordering is Monday, May 4Click here for more info and to order!


mollie
Feeding Our Neighbors
The amazing Mollie Erickson continues to work with neighbors and organizations to distribute food to those in need feeding over 900 people a week. She has a new sign-up sheet for donations for food bags, sack lunches, cleaning supplies, and more. Click here for more info (please note the tabs on top for more opportunities to help).


Untitled design

Crisis Center
The Crisis Center serves people experiencing personal crisis or mental health issues and responds with services that promote coping, emotional health, and well-being. They are offering a Guide to Coping During Social Distancing. Ways to help the Crisis Center:

¡HICA!
¡HICA! champions economic equality, civic engagement, and social justice for Latino and immigrant families in Alabama. They have an urgent and immediate need for food. Please call (205) 942-5505 to arrange for drop-off.
  • Food bags – donation of food bags with the same number of items in each for distribution.
  • Gift Cards – Wal-mart gift cards are requested
  • Amazon Smile – Designate ¡HICA! to receive donations from sales of Amazon.
  • Donate online

One Place
One Place provides coordinated services to victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. If you can help with any of the below, please call One Place for safe drop-off arrangements at (205) 453-7261.

  • Immediate needs are water and canned sodas
  • Gift Cards – Requesting Wal-mart and Target
  • Amazon Smile – Designate One Place to receive donations from sales of Amazon.
  • Donate online

Pathways
Pathways is a United Way agency that serves women and children experiencing homelessness in the Birmingham area and they need help! They are looking for volunteers to provide weekend meals (lunch and dinner) for their families and they welcome casseroles, catered food, pizza delivery, etc. for 30 people. Click here for more info and to sign up.


YWCA
YWCA Central Alabama is serving on the frontlines of this public health crisis helping vulnerable families, women, and children. If you can help with any of the below, please call YMCA for safe drop-off arrangements at (205) 322-9922.

  • Wish lists – May ship directly or start a collection. If you choose to collect items please make an appointment for delivery.
  • Virtual Purse & Passion Luncheon – Learn more about the work of YWCA on Thursday, April 30th at 11:30 a.m.
  • Masks – Families at YMCA desperately need masks.
  • Gift cards – Requesting gift cards for gas, Lyft or Uber.
  • Donate online

Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham
Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham’s mission is to accelerate economic opportunity for women and their families through philanthropy, research, and advocacy. Their new ROAR for Women Fund benefits Alabama child care centers serving essential employees. Please donate!

Light and Love and What to Do?

Friends,
We hope that y’all are staying safe and healthy. It’s hard to know what to do in times like these. We’ve compiled a list of resources and action items below we’ve come across. Please feel free to pass along any additional info. We have an amazing group here so don’t hesitate to reach out by email and through our Facebook group (email us if you aren’t already in it and want to be). Also be sure to follow us on Instagram for all sorts of goodness. We heart you!

RESOURCES

COVID-19 Resource List

This is a great community-sourced list by the fabulous Nicole Watkins with info on financial assistance, food assistance, local and state resources, mental health contacts, and more.


CRISIS CENTER
  • Crisis & Talk Lines – The Crisis Center continues to offer amazing support at the numbers listed below.
  • Cards/Notes for Seniors – The Crisis Center is collecting notes to be mailed to seniors in our community to let them know we are thinking of them. If interested, please email us for pick up or drop off in Homewood.

    Crisis Center


    SCHOOL MEALS FOR KIDS
  • Homewood City Schools – Breakfast and lunch for children 18 and under. They will resume distribution next week Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Homewood Middle School (395 Mecca Ave). Please drive-thru the carpool line in the front of the school. Children do not need to be a HCS student but must be present in the car. Click here for more info.
  • Birmingham Public Schools – Children 18 and younger eat free and children do not need to be present or enrolled in BPS to receive the meals. Additionally, students from the BPS Annex site up to age 26 also have access to the free breakfast and lunch services. Pick up locations include Groves High School in Beverly Hills, Derby Middle School in Birmingham, West Maple in Bloomfield Hills and Huntley Square Apartments in Beverly Hills. Click here for more info.

    FEEDING OUR NEIGHBORS
  • Be a Blessing Birmingham – Our friends at Be a Blessing Birmingham continue to work tirelessly to feed our homeless neighbors. Donations are most welcome. Also, lovelies Miriam and Alim are assisting Be a Blessing by collecting fresh fruit, particularly apples and oranges. If you are able, please pick up a bag or two of each when you go to the store. You can leave them outside your door and email them for pick up on Mondays, Thursdays, or Sundays between 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. You can also email them if you are interested in helping with this effort.
  • Food Collection – Every day between 12 – 2 p.m., drop off donations of sandwiches, oranges, boiled eggs, crackers, etc. in the cooler located in the driveway at 70 Lakeshore Drive 35209 for food that will be used through Community on the Rise (Church of the Reconciler). Donations will be driven downtown 1-2 times a week or as needed to help our neighbors in need. Click here for more info.
  • Homewood Bagel Company – The Homewood Bagel Company has been feeding 15-20 families a day from their shop and are making deliveries into the community. They are in need of bread and fresh fruit which can be dropped off at 2907 Central Ave, Homewood, AL 35209.
  • Trinity Methodist Church’s Food Share Program – Trinity has been working with the Community Food Bank of Central AL to feed our neighbors through their Food Share program. Trinity supports this effort financially through their Lenten offering. Click here to make a donation.

DONATING BLOOD

There’s a critical shortage of blood. You can make individual appointments with the Red Cross at their website or at 1-800-RED-CROSS.


PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
  • Local Facebook Group for Sewing Masks – There’s a Facebook group for our talented friends who are able to sew face masks for our amazing healthcare providers in Birmingham. Click here for more info.
  • Local Mask Sewing –  The Smocking Bird located in Homewood (2831 Linden Ave) is facilitating mask sewing and collection. Check out their Instagram page for info and patterns.
  • Donations – If you happen to have masks/gloves/etc around your home and are willing to donate, please email us and we can arrange for pick up and distribution.

HELPING OUR SERVICE INDUSTRY
  • Curbside/Take-out List – A community-sourced list of area restaurants and bars offering take-out/curbside options.
  • Rally for Restaurants – A website that lists local eateries and how to best support them.
  • Tip a Local Service Industry Worker – A fun site that randomly generates a local service industry worker’s name and Venmo info. Have a drink at home and still tip a server!

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
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.


VOTING IN JEFFERSON COUNTY ON MARCH 3, 2020
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

  • EXPECTS TO BE ABSENT FROM THE COUNTY on election day
  • 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.


AMENDMENT 1 INFORMATION
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:

E6DE534C37C547828F7544D5CC687E25

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!