Category: 2017 Birmingham Elections

Birmingham Votes 2017

Randall Woodfin will be sworn in as Birmingham’s new mayor during his inauguration Nov. 28. BirminghamWatch interviewed him, new council members and departing council members before the passing of the baton: First? Look at the Books: A Q&A With Birmingham’s Next Mayor Newly Elected Birmingham City Councilor Hunter Williams Calls for Broad Coordination to Move

Woodfin Announces His Executive Leadership Team

Nov. 14, 2017 — Birmingham Mayor-elect Randall Woodfin named members of his administration’s executive leadership team Tuesday morning.

Almost all of the appointees previously worked in some capacity with Birmingham city government. Two worked on the campaign of Bernie Sanders, the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate who endorsed Woodfin shortly before his election.

Standing at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in front of a black banner with the words “How Does It Help All 99 Birmingham Neighborhoods?” emblazoned on it, Woodfin said he plans to “hit the reset button at City Hall as relates to certain leadership having a sense of urgency with helping people and putting people first.” The question on the banner behind him serves as “our why,” he said, the guiding principle behind every decision his administration makes.

“When we wake up every single day over the next four years, every decision we make, every issue we face, anything on the solutions end of the problems we have, we will always ask this question,” he said. Read more.

BIRMINGHAM VOTES 2017
Randall Woodfin will be sworn in as Birmingham’s new mayor during his inauguration Nov. 28. BirminghamWatch interviewed him, new council members and departing council members before the passing of the baton:

First? Look at the Books: A Q&A With Birmingham’s Next Mayor
Newly Elected Birmingham City Councilor Hunter Williams Calls for Broad Coordination to Move the City Forward
For Newly Elected Birmingham City Councilor Darrell O’Quinn, the Neighborhood is Still the Thing
New Birmingham Councilor John Hilliard Says He Can’t Do It Alone, Residents Must Share Responsibility for the District
Transparency, Neighborhoods and One Uber Battle: Three Former Birmingham Councilors Talk About Their Time at City Hall
READ COMPLETE COVERAGE OF THE BIRMINGHAM CITY ELECTION.

Birmingham’s New Council Members Sworn in; Abbott Elected President

Oct. 24, 2017 – Birmingham City Councilor Valerie Abbott was elected president of the Birmingham City Council this morning.

The vote was taken after new council members were sworn into office for the 2017-2021 term. Six incumbent councilors – Abbott, Lashunda Scales, William Parker, Sheila Tyson, Jay Roberson and Steven Hoyt – and three new council members – Hunter Williams, Darrell O’Quinn and John Hilliard – started their terms today.

Mayor William Bell remains as mayor until Randall Woodfin, elected in the Oct. 3 runoff, takes office Nov. 28.

Newly Elected Birmingham City Councilor Hunter Williams Calls for Broad Coordination to Move the City Forward

This is the third in a series of interviews BirminghamWatch will be conducting with newly elected city officials.

New District 2 Birmingham City Councilor Hunter Williams is all about coordination — with neighborhoods, with the mayor’s office, with local businesses and utilities — and making sure those perspectives are represented when considering solutions to Birmingham’s issues.

Williams defeated his incumbent opponent, Kim Abbott, née Rafferty, with the largest margin of victory in any of the Oct. 3 runoffs – 71.43 percent to 28.57 percent. Williams attributes his victory to voters’ frustration with a lack of growth in District 2.

“It became apparent that the district was becoming somewhat stagnant in terms of growth,” he said. “And I mean not only economically. Our infrastructure was not being taken care of specifically in our district. It was very hard to see any sort of progression.”

During his term as councilor, Williams hopes to restart that growth. His plan involves placing focus on existing District 2 features such as Ruffner Mountain and Banks High School, and making sure that infrastructure repairs and community policing both take into account the specific needs of their communities. Read the Q&A.

First? Look at the Books: A Q&A With Birmingham’s Next Mayor

This is the second in a series of interviews BirminghamWatch will be conducting with newly elected city officials.

Birmingham Mayor-elect Randall Woodfin said he is “concerned” with the way his predecessor has run City Hall, and his first order of business when he takes office Nov. 28 will be to assess city finances and staffing to see whether there has been any wrongdoing.

Woodfin defeated incumbent William Bell, who had served as mayor since 2010, by a significant margin in Oct. 3’s runoff election. Throughout his campaign, Woodfin, who takes office Nov. 28, promised, among other things, to conduct a forensic audit on city finances, to provide more support for the city’s neglected neighborhoods and to restore transparency and accountability to City Hall.

In an interview with BirminghamWatch conducted just after the announcement of his administration’s transition team, Woodfin discussed his expectations for the beginning of his mayorship, his plan to reshape the mayor’s office staff, and his approach to both neighborhood and economic revitalization. Read the Q&A

Former BSC President Krulak and Alabama Power VP Knight Will Lead Woodfin’s Transition Team

Oct. 10, 2017 — Mayor-elect Randall Woodfin announced Tuesday that he had selected Charles Krulak and Bobbie Knight to co-chair his transition team.

In a press conference held at Vulcan Park and Museum, Woodfin described Krulak and Knight as “true public servants” who would provide counsel to his nascent administration in the months leading up to his Nov. 28 inauguration.

Krulak was president of Birmingham-Southern College from 2011 to 2015. He previously served as the 31st Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and he worked in a variety of high-level positions for bank holding company MBNA between 1999 and 2005.

Until her retirement in 2016, Knight had served as a vice president for Alabama Power, and she previously was chair of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute board of directors. Read more.

For Newly Elected Birmingham City Councilor Darrell O’Quinn, the Neighborhood is Still the Thing

This is the first in a series of interviews BirminghamWatch will be conducting with newly elected city officials.

Accessibility and accountability are the main priorities for newly elected Birmingham City Councilor Darrell O’Quinn.

In a close runoff election, O’Quinn unseated current District 5 Councilor Johnathan Austin. After taking office Oct. 24, O’Quinn plans to immediately start working on ways to engage and educate communities on the resources municipal government can provide, he said.

O’Quinn is part of a wave of new leadership headed to City Hall after the Oct. 3 runoff election. Despite his neophyte status in city government, O’Quinn has been heavily involved in Birmingham on the community level since moving to the city in 2001. He currently serves as president of the Citizens Advisory Board and the Crestwood North Neighborhood Association.

That experience has allowed him to see where communities and neighborhoods have been underserved by Birmingham’s city government, he said.
“I’m sorry to say that the bar has been so low that for me to step in and make a significant difference is pretty damn easy,” O’Quinn said.

Recently, O’Quinn spoke to BirminghamWatch about his early priorities as councilor, his plans to address Birmingham’s economic stagnation and his expectations from the new power dynamic at City Hall. Read the Q&A.

Four New Members and One Incumbent Elected to Birmingham Board of Education

The Birmingham Board of Education will have six new members after Tuesday’s runoff election.

Only three incumbents remain on the nine-member board that oversees the state’s fourth-largest school system.

New Board of Education members elected Tuesday – all current or retired educators – are Douglas Lee Ragland, Michael “Mickey” Millsap, Patricia Spigner McAdory and Sonja Q. Smith.

Also in the runoff, incumbent board member Daayge Hendricks was re-elected for a second term.
Read more.