James Earnest "Jay" Roberson Jr (born June 1, 1973 in Birmingham) is the founder of Top Ten Management, a business development consultancy, a former associate athletic director at Samford University and former District 7 representative and President Pro Tempore on the Birmingham City Council.
Roberson is the son of James and Linda Thompson Roberson. He graduated from Homewood High School in 1990, quarterbacking the Patriots to the 5A State Championship game against Mobile County's Blount High School, although Homewood lost. He accepted a scholarship to Middle Tennessee State University, but transferred to Alabama A&M in 1992. He quarterbacked the Bulldogs for three years and was twice named to the All-SIAC team. He graduated in 1995 with a bachelor of arts and science in communications.
In 1996 Roberson returned to Homewood as a football and basketball assistant coach. He also pursued work in communications, producing and hosting a collage football magazine show and working as a color analyst for Fox Sports Network and Collegiate Sports Southeast. He has also participated in NBC 13's "Monday Morning Sports Buzz" and hosted Pat Sullivan's Coach's show for Samford University.
In 1999 Roberson was hired as an event director for the Bruno Event Team and Alabama Sports Foundation, helping organize SWAC Championship Games, Magic City Classics, SEC Baseball Tournaments, and Southeastern Conference gymnastics championships. He left in 2002 to form his own sports management and marketing firm, Top Ten Management. The same year he was named an assistant commissioner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, overseeing television, sponsorships and marketing. He helped negotiate a contract with ESPN to broadcast the SWAC football and basketball championship games nationally. He left to become associate director of athletics for Samford University and helped bring that school's first nationally-televised football game to ESPN in 2005.
In the 2009 Birmingham City Council election, Roberson defeated six other candidates to assume the District 7 seat left vacant by the death of Miriam Witherspoon. The council seated him as Witherspoon's successor on October 13, shortly after the runoff.
Roberson has been active in community development projects, as well, helping found M-Set, Inc. and participating in the Birmingham Agenda Group for the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce. He served on the executive board of the PapaJohns.com Bowl, and the boards of the Central Alabama Youth Foundation and the Learning For Life Board for the Boy Scouts of America.
As a council member, Roberson's most visible initiative was the "Birmingham Movement" (Later called "100 Days of Nonviolence") in which city school students signed pledges to eschew violence between October 10, 2010 and January 17, 2011 (Martin Luther King Jr Day). No homicides involving school-age participants were recording during that period. The program was repeated in the following years and has been copied in other cities. Roberson also claims credit for street and park improvements in his district, and the recruitment of a Family Dollar store.
Roberson left Samford in 2013 and was hired as Government Affairs Director for the Birmingham Association of Realtors. As a candidate for re-election in the 2013 Birmingham municipal election, Roberson pledged to employ the new land-banking legislation to reduce blight, to continue involving youth in service programs to build pride, and to support city investment in Birmingham City Schools and the expansion of Pre-K programs.
In the December 2015 Council committee restructuring, Roberson was appointed chair of the Utilities committee and assigned to serve on the Education and Park & Recreation committees. After the 2017 municipal election he was made President Pro Tempore.
In August 2018 Roberson announced that he would step down from the City Council because his wife, Niva, was taking a job with Alabaster City Schools and the family planned to move outside the city. The Robersons have three children: Lia, Tré, and Ava. They attend 6th Avenue Baptist Church.
|Birmingham City Council District 7
October 2009–September 2018
- "Birmingham City Council District 7" (June 11, 2009) The Birmingham Times
- "Birmingham City Council District 7: Jay Roberson" (August 21, 2009) The Birmingham News
- Bryant, Joseph D. and Anne Ruisi (October 7) "Birmingham City Council President Carole Smitherman defeats challenger Sheila Tyson." The Birmingham News
- Bryant, Joseph D. (October 8) "Birmingham City Councilman-elect Jay Roberson may take District 7 seat." The Birmingham News
- Pelfrey, David (March 31, 2011) "Dead City Diary". Black & White
- Rodriguez, Ana (August 23, 2013) "District 7 residents seek candidate who will tackle overgrown lot, abandoned home, uninterested youth problems." The Birmingham News
- Edgemon, Erin (August 16, 2018) "Jay Roberson to resign from Birmingham City Council." The Birmingham News
- Jay Roberson campaign on Facebook.com
- Birmingham Movement website