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Old August 12th, 2005, 08:56 PM   #1
Vulcan
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Birmingham, Alabama ranked as most liberal city in the South

This study was posted in the United States section. I thought it was worth a discussion in the Southeast section.

According to a study recently released by the Bay Area Center for Voting Research, Birmingham, Alabama is ranked as the most liberal city (with population over 100,000) in the entire Southern U.S. Of course this study reflects the demographics of Birmingham, which is more than 60% African American. Moreover, much of the White population that resides in Birmingham tends to be the "Bohemian" type population. Those whome live in Birmingham are all too familiar with the demographics of Birmingham's Southside, Forest Park U.A.B. and Crestwood communities.

The full study can be reviewed from the following link: http://www.votingresearch.org/

South's Most Liberal Cities
Soutern Rank City U.S. Rank
1 Birmingham 19
2 New Orleans 26
3 Atlanta 31
4 Dallas 32
5 Memphis 39
6 Jackson 46
7 Richmond 50
8 Durham 61
9 Alexandria, VA 63
10 Savannah 69
Source: Bay Area Center for Voting Research

U.S. Ranking
America’s 25 Most Liberal Cities, over 100,000 residents
(in descending order)

1 Detroit
2 Gary, IN
3 Berkeley, CA
4 Washington, DC
5 Oakland, CA
6 Inglewood, CA
7 Newark, NJ
8 Cambridge, MA
9 San Francisco
10 Flint, MI
11 Cleveland
12 Hartford, CT
13 Paterson, NJ
14 Baltimore
15 New Haven, CT
16 Seattle
17 Chicago
18 Philadelphia
19 Birmingham, AL
20 St. Louis
21 New York
22 Providence, RI
23 Minneapolis
24 Boston
25 Buffalo


America’s 25 Most Conservative Cities, over 100,000 residents
(in descending order)

1 Provo, UT
2 Lubbock, TX
3 Abilene, TX
4 Hialeah, FL
5 Plano, TX
6 Colorado Springs, CO
7 Gilbert, AZ
8 Bakersfield, CA
9 Lafayette, LA
10 Orange, CA
11 Escondido, CA
12 Allentown, PA
13 Mesa, AZ
14 Arlington, TX
15 Peoria, AZ
16 Cape Coral, FL
17 Garden Grove, CA
18 Simi Valley, CA
19 Corona, CA
20 Clearwater, FL
21 West Valley City, UT
22 Oklahoma City, OK
23 Overland Park, KS
24 Anchorage, AK
25 Huntington Beach, CA
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Old August 12th, 2005, 09:01 PM   #2
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Very interesting, indeed.

Last edited by vulcanscuz; August 12th, 2005 at 09:12 PM.
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Old August 12th, 2005, 09:39 PM   #3
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Being a liberal myself, I admit the recognition of being a liberal city isn't neccessarily a great achievement - based on the company shared:

1 Detroit
2 Gary, IN
10 Flint, MI

among others...

But on the other hand, besides the typical suburb, there are some interesting conservative cities as well - such as Allentown PA.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 12:08 AM   #4
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Um are they saying Dallas is the most liberal big city in Texas? woah. Thought that would surely be Austin. Dallas is pretty high up there too.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 12:37 AM   #5
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^ Good point - I would have expected Austin, or Asheville NC or Athens GA for that matter.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 12:57 AM   #6
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Not sure of the study's methodology, but I would find it difficult to say that Birmingham is more liberal than New York City. In fact, it's not.

Nor for that matter would I say Birmingham is more liberal than New Orleans.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 01:20 AM   #7
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I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but it seems the african-american population of a city might weigh heavily in determining whether it is liberal in this particular survey. There are some obvious exceptions such as Berkely and Cambridge, but Oakland, Detroit, Gary, DC, and Newark are all in the top 10 and not cities I would traditionally think of as culturally liberal as much as politically liberal (as in Democratic). Birmingham is also decidedly minority predominant. Perhaps they are basing liberalism on presidential voting results? I suppose liberalism can mean different things to different people.

But, what concrete measures of cultural liberalism/progressivism are there? Number of coffee houses per capita? quality of the sushi? number of volvos? miles of bike paths?

On the other hand, most of the conservative cities listed seem to ring true to me.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 01:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasBoi
Um are they saying Dallas is the most liberal big city in Texas? woah. Thought that would surely be Austin. Dallas is pretty high up there too.

Im with you guys, I was almost certain id see Austin near the top! That city is way to Liberal for my blood. But if you notice they also have Arlington has one of the most conserve .
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Old August 13th, 2005, 01:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckley
I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but it seems the african-american population of a city might weigh heavily in determining whether it is liberal in this particular survey. There are some obvious exceptions such as Berkely and Cambridge, but Oakland, Detroit, Gary, DC, and Newark are all in the top 10 and not cities I would traditionally think of as culturally liberal, but may be politically liberal (as in Democratic). Birmingham is also decidedly minority predominant. Perhaps they are basing liberalism on presidential voting results? I suppose liberalism can mean different things to different people.

But, what concrete measures of cultural liberalism/progressivism are there? Number of coffee houses per capita? quality of the sushi? number of volvos? miles of bike paths?

On the other hand, the conservative cities listed seem to ring true to me.
Bingo. The cities that impress me as far as their liberalism are Berkely, San Francisco, Seattle, and Boston, where a more liberal culture exist.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 05:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepy
Not sure of the study's methodology, but I would find it difficult to say that Birmingham is more liberal than New York City. In fact, it's not.

Nor for that matter would I say Birmingham is more liberal than New Orleans.
I understand your perspective. But should you read the study's summary, it states that liberalism has become more of a black - white issue rather than a university-setting type idealogy. Although more and more African Americans are becomming part of the Republican party (example Birmingham native, Condoleezza Rice), still African Americans are quite loyal to the Democratic party. And in a general sense, democrats tend to be more liberal than Republicans (for obvious reasons). That explains why many top liberal cities have a high percentage African Americans. Also, this is a study that foucses on the city proper not metropolitan area. This is certainly not the case in most suburban Birmingham communities. Birmingham and New york are liberal in a different sense. New Orleans and Birmingham - there both in the Deep South. They have a lot of the same demographics. This study is just someone's opinoin. Everyone has one.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 02:31 PM   #11
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Wow, B-ham more liberal that NOLA? That's news to me. But, then again, I can't comment because the last time I went to B-ham was for a Tina Turner concert in 2000, and that was only for one overnight stay at a Holiday Inn at the airport. Which reminds me...that was an odd incident. The desk clerk's last name was identical to my first name. The desk clerk was so taken with MY last name that she told me she insisted upon using my last name as the first name of her new son. (I thought that was rather odd). So, in B-ham, there may be a baby with my name...only reversed.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 03:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan
I understand your perspective. But should you read the study's summary, it states that liberalism has become more of a black - white issue rather than a university-setting type idealogy. Although more and more African Americans are becomming part of the Republican party (example Birmingham native, Condoleezza Rice), still African Americans are quite loyal to the Democratic party. And in a general sense, democrats tend to be more liberal than Republicans (for obvious reasons). That explains why many top liberal cities have a high percentage African Americans. Also, this is a study that foucses on the city proper not metropolitan area. This is certainly not the case in most suburban Birmingham communities. Birmingham and New york are liberal in a different sense. New Orleans and Birmingham - there both in the Deep South. They have a lot of the same demographics. This study is just someone's opinoin. Everyone has one.
I had read the summary. Beyond that, there was still no methodology other than black-white.

And even though New Orleans and Birmingham are in the Deep South, I don't believe they have too much in common culturally other than that.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 04:35 PM   #13
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The effects of “white flight” make this study a little flawed in my opinion. I’ll use Charlotte as an example. The city and county populations are each about 30% black. True the city has a Republican mayor (albeit a moderate Republican), but the city council and county commission are majority Democratic. And registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in Mecklenburg County (as evidenced by Kerry beating Bush here). So I ask, which city is truly more liberal between Charlotte and Birmingham? The city with a declining population due to white flight where blacks out number whites almost 2 to 1, or the city with positive population growth where whites are moving back into the city and they make up approximately 70% of the population?

Link:
http://www.meckboe.org/pages/Electio...nfo/general04/
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Old August 13th, 2005, 06:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolina Blue
The effects of “white flight” make this study a little flawed in my opinion. I’ll use Charlotte as an example. The city and county populations are each about 30% black. True the city has a Republican mayor (albeit a moderate Republican), but the city council and county commission are majority Democratic. And registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in Mecklenburg County (as evidenced by Kerry beating Bush here). So I ask, which city is truly more liberal between Charlotte and Birmingham? The city with a declining population due to white flight where blacks out number whites almost 2 to 1, or the city with positive population growth where whites are moving back into the city and they make up approximately 70% of the population?

Link:
http://www.meckboe.org/pages/Electio...nfo/general04/
I'd say Birmingham is more liberal than Charlotte.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 07:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepy
And even though New Orleans and Birmingham are in the Deep South, I don't believe they have too much in common culturally other than that.
That's definitely the case.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 07:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolina Blue
So I ask, which city is truly more liberal between Charlotte and Birmingham? The city with a declining population due to white flight where blacks out number whites almost 2 to 1, or the city with positive population growth where whites are moving back into the city and they make up approximately 70% of the population?
What are you getting at with the white flight thing?
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Old August 13th, 2005, 07:52 PM   #17
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^ in response to Carolina Blue's racist "White Flight" statement:

Charlotte has worked hard to develop a conservative image. It's the proud home for several evangelical empires. Consider all the televison evangelist from Charlotte - the Bakers and Tammy faye, the Graham ministries (huge evangelical empire). Apparently, there is a big audience for this type programing which is not normally associated with liberalism. The city's main corridor is is proudly the Billy Graham freeway as well as any other street they can possibly name after him. Atlanta has several "Peachtree Streets" Charlotte has "Billy Graham".

That's cool that Charlotte has 70% white compared to Birmingham's 30%, but that does not make Charlotte more liberal as a result. Charlotte is not a San Francisco or even an Austin TX. Like Birmingham' it's part of the bible belt. So yeah I will say the city that has experienced "white flight" and where blacks out number whites 2 to 1 (like Birmingham) is more liberal than a city that is dominated by a white southern populace - that tend to be more conservative. What's wrong with that? I just merely posted the results of a study. I'm sorry it offended you.

Last edited by Vulcan; August 13th, 2005 at 09:28 PM.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 09:50 PM   #18
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6 Inglewood, CA

I'm surprised that Inglewood is most liberal city than Birmingham does.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 10:05 PM   #19
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Charlotte's conservative image is deteriorating with all the influx of new residents from more liberal setting. Charlotte and Mecklenburg County did vote for Kerry, but not by a large percentage, but it was more than a simple majority. Charlotte City Council is overhelmingly Democrats, with 7 Democrats over 4 Republicans, including the Mayor since Charlotte has a Council-Manager City government. Out of the 4 Republicans, 2 are moderate Republicans and the others are conservative or ultra-conservative. Charlotte has 3 At-Large Council seats (not counting the Mayor's seat,) and two belong to the Democrats. The top vote getter for the At-Large seats is usually by tradition the Mayor Pro-Tempore which is currently a Democrat. This past spring when the City Council was debating over redistricting, one of the Republican Councilman was like, I know we Republicans will always be outnumbered from now on according to the districts, the only way we can regain control of the City Council is by getting all the current district we control and get all the At-Large seats. Even by doing that it will only be a simple majority. The County in general is a bit more conservative than the City Council due to the representation of the suburbs. Currently it's a 6-3 Democrats majority, with all Democrats controlling the At-Large seats. However, Charlotte is a very progessive city.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 10:36 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan
I'm sorry it offended you.
You're too kind! (I seriously mean that.) Actually, you did not offend me at all. I just didn't understand what your point was. Nevertheless, I don't think I'd want to live in a city that coddled "evangelical empires" that have no business being tax exempt.
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