US

Birmingham City Councilman: City with majority black population shouldn’t give funding to autosports event

Photo of Patrick Howley
Patrick Howley
Political Reporter

Birmingham, Ala. City Councilman Steven Hoyt said that his city should not provide funding to host a major auto racing event because Birmingham has a “majority black population.”

Hoyt made his statement during a divisive City Council battle over whether to provide $300,000 to continue to host the Honda-Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at the city’s Barber Motorsports Park, where it has been a local tourist attraction since 2010.

“This event has created almost $80 million of economic impact,” City Councilman Jay Roberson said in support of the racing event, according to WSFA 12.

But City Councilman Steven Hoyt disagreed.

“I have seen nobody, nobody, that looks like me making any decision about Barber Sports Motor place. None. Zero,” Hoyt said.

Birmingham mayor William Bell eventually withdrew his financial support this week for the racing event.

Councilman Hoyt, who has represented Birmingham’s Eighth District on the City Council since his first election in 2005, also co-authored the Jefferson County Economic Development and Industrial Authority’s Minority Participation Policy, “which guarantees minority inclusion in all contract opportunities that are initiated by the board.”

Follow Patrick on Twitter