Rob Burton

Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director, SWEET Alabama, Birmingham, AL

LAs a Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patient I started serving in my community from a young age. This
included canvassing and fundraising for the CF Foundation. After my father took his own life as
a result of mental health issues while I was in high school, I poured myself into serving, and
expanding to other types of volunteer service. On one hand service was an outlet, I had pain
from my experiences with CF and the trauma I felt from my father’s death. I wanted to address
issues that would alleviate pain in our communities.

When I moved to Birmingham, Alabama in 2008, I noticed a sharp decrease in my lung health. I
soon came to find that Birmingham was ranked in the Top 15 for worst air particle pollution in
the country. I became involved in environmental organizing while in college, and soon began to
feel that to fix the issues affecting our communities we needed to address our issues

In 2013 I became the Executive Director of Magic City Agriculture Project (MCAP), a non-profit
whose mission is to engage in value-based community organizing to reweave the threads of the
community, develop sustainable urban agriculture as a solution to economic and food injustice,
and to dismantle racism.

In 2017 I co-founded the non-profit organization Sustainable Water, Energy, and Economic
Transition in Alabama (SWEET Alabama). SWEET Alabama is a “just transition” organization
focusing on democratic economies and energy independence within Birmingham and the
beautiful state of Alabama.

In addition to my work with SWEET Alabama, I serve on many other community boards. I was
appointed by the Birmingham City Council to serve on the Board of Directors of the Birmingham
Land Bank Authority from 2018 to 2022. I was popularly elected and currently serve as
President of both the Glen Iris Neighborhood Association and the Southside Community
Advisory Committee, two advisory bodies for the City of Birmingham. In 2022, I was elected to a
four year at-large position on the state of Alabama’s Democratic Executive Committee.
Additionally I serve as an Action Lead for Alabama’s Gulf South for a Green New Deal Hub.