Birmingham City Council

Applicants for Vacant Council Seats Include Former BoE VP, Former Mayor’s Brother

Friday marked the deadline to apply for the two vacant seats on the Birmingham City Council — and the list of applicants is lengthy.

There are 14 candidates for the District 1 seat formerly held by Lashunda Scales; 18 have applied to fill the District 6 seat formerly held by Sheila Tyson. Both Scales and Tyson resigned from the council Nov. 14 to be sworn in as members of the Jefferson County Commission.

There are plenty of familiar names among the applicants, including some, such as Sherman Collins Jr. and LaTanya Millhouse, who ran unsuccessfully against Scales and Tyson for their council seats in the past. There also are several former members of the Birmingham Board of Education hoping to repeat the success of District 7 Councilor Wardine Alexander, the former school board president who was appointed to the council earlier this month.

The list also includes a former Jefferson County commissioner, the brother of former Mayor William Bell, a former chair of the Birmingham Public Library’s board of trustees, and a former member of Mayor Randall Woodfin’s transition team.

Alexander’s recent appointment to the council came at the end of a contentious process, during which the council deadlocked before District 8 Councilor Steven Hoyt changed his vote. Now that the council has an odd number of members — which means votes cannot result in a tie — it seems unlikely that the process to select Scales’ and Tyson’s replacements will be as difficult.

The council has not set a date for interviews with applicants.

District 1 Applicants:

  • Michael Bell, brother of former Mayor William Bell and executive director of the Birmingham Construction Industry Authority.
  • Sherman Collins Jr., 2017 candidate for District 1 councilor, former vice president of the Birmingham Board of Education.
  • William Harden Jr., system administrator for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama; former president and vice president of the Birmingham Professionals Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers.
  • Kintisha M. Matthews, attorney, member of the Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program.
  • Brandon McCray, 2009 candidate for District 1 councilor, 2017 candidate for District 2 on the board of education, former committee assistant for District 6 Councilor Sheila Tyson and District 2 Councilor Kimberly Rafferty.
  • Michael Milner, president of Old Trail Properties, former executive director at Alabama Asset Building Coalition, former vice president of the SouthTrust Bank Corp., former regional community development manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  • John Norman, pastor at Rivers of Living Water Faith Church, member of the board of directors of ARC of Jefferson County, member of board of directors, Jefferson County Intellectual and Development Disabilities Authority.
  • Alberto D. Reid, finance/budget analyst with Gear Up Birmingham, accountant for Birmingham City Schools, former district executive for Boy Scouts of America.
  • Terrika Shaw, supervising attorney at the University of Alabama School of Law.
  • Cedric Small, 2017 candidate for Birmingham Board of Education.
  • Sims Smith, community educator coordinator for Birmingham City Schools.
  • Michael Todd, community activist, retired educator.
  • Gwendolyn Welch, former member and chair of Birmingham Public Library’s board of trustees, former education liaison for Mayor Bernard Kincaid.
  • Clinton Woods, campaign manager for Sheriff-Elect Mark Pettway, executive pastor at Christ Church.

District 6 Applicants:

  • Barry Bearden, teacher and coach at the Altamont School.
  • Willine Body, President of the Graymont Neighborhood Association.
  • Carlos M. Chaverst Jr., political activist known for his contentious and occasionally profane interactions with the mayor and council, former assistant to Councilor Sheila Tyson.
  • Tony D. Christon-Walker, director of prevention and community partnerships for AIDS Alabama.
  • Brandon Cleveland, CEO of A Simple Way LLC, founder and chief culture officer of The Upstream Group.
  • Keinjel Davis, meat cutter at Sam’s Club.
  • Carla English, executive secretary for the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity, coordinator for the Birmingham Housing Authority.
  • Abigail Gambles, customer service representative at Buffalo Rock Company.
  • Ervin Philemon Hill II, 2017 mayoral candidate.
  • W.J. Maye Jr., former member of the Birmingham Board of Education.
  • Andre McShan, medical director at St. Vincent’s Occupational Health Clinic at Honda Manufacturing.
  • LaTanya Millhouse, 2013 candidate for District 6 councilor, senior program manager for the Alpha Omega Group.
  • Clarence Muhammad, co-chair, Birmingham Kwanzaa Committee, field coordinator for Rod Scott’s campaigns for State House and Senate in 2006 and 2009, consultant for Triumph Youth and Adult Community Development, former board member for One Roof of Birmingham.
  • Richard A. Rice, attorney and community organizer, former co-chair of Mayor Randall Woodfin’s social justice transition committee.
  • Steve Small Jr., former Jefferson County District 2 commissioner, 2001 to 2002, pastor of True Life Missionary Baptist Church.
  • Crystal Smitherman, law student, former education outreach coordinator for Girls Inc.
  • Keith Williams, minister, 2017 candidate for District 6 councilor.
  • Onoyemi Williams, co-chair of Faith in Action, analyst for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama.


This article has been corrected to show that William Harden Jr. is former, not current, president of the Birmingham Professionals Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers.