Tag: Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin

Woodfin Won’t Resign in Controversy Over Police Shooting

Mayor Randall Woodfin said he will not resign despite Black Lives Matter Birmingham’s calls for him to do so following last month’s police killing of Desmon Montez Ray Jr.

Ray, 28, was killed by police on Easter Sunday as they responded to a domestic dispute call in north Birmingham. After a chase, officers say Ray fired a gun at police as he exited his vehicle; they returned fire, killing him.

After criticism from Ray’s family and local activists, Birmingham Police Chief Patrick D. Smith released three videos — from officers’ body cameras and a neighbor’s security camera — showing the shooting.

On Monday, Black Lives Matter Birmingham called the release of the videos “unacceptable.” Read more.

Erasing the Stain: 15,000 Pardoned of Marijuana Possession Convictions

Mayor Randall Woodfin on Tuesday announced the pardons of more than 15,000 Birmingham residents convicted of marijuana possession, declaring that “one small mistake should not define an entire lifetime.”

The pardons — which were announced April 20, an unofficial holiday celebrating cannabis — covers residents with closed marijuana possession cases in the Birmingham Municipal Court between 1990 and 2020.

The pardons are part of Woodfin’s Pardons for Progress program, launched in November 2019, which was meant to remove employment barriers for people who had been convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession. Read more.

Birmingham Council Stalls Smithfield Redevelopment, Wants Mayor to Share Plan

The Birmingham City Council has delayed plans for the city to purchase and redevelop the Smithfield Community’s defunct Hill Elementary School property. Mayor Randall Woodfin’s office has proposed that the city buy the school and renovate it for workforce housing. But several councilors argued that they had not been adequately informed of the city’s plans for the property and demanded more information. Read more.

Woodfin Describes Battle With COVID, Sees Relief Coming for the City From the Biden Administration

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin urges Birmingham residents to continue taking the new coronavirus seriously, and he speaks from firsthand experience.

Woodfin told BirminghamWatch on Saturday that he is mostly recovered after being hospitalized briefly with COVID-related pneumonia, but it’s an uphill battle, including neurological effects that left him barely able to walk for several days. Read more.

Woodfin Kicks Off Mayoral Reelection Campaign, Says He’ll Ramp Up Work on Neighborhoods, Education Priorities

Mayor Randall Woodfin officially kicked off his campaign for reelection at a drive-in rally at George Ward Park on Saturday, offering a slightly updated slate of second-term goals but maintaining his first campaign’s focus on neighborhood revitalization.

He repeatedly invoked his new campaign slogan, “progress together,” and promised to “finish the job” he started in 2017 over the next five years.

“We’re ramping up everything we’ve already put in place, making it tighter, putting more resources to it,” he said. Read more.

Woodfin Looks Toward a Better 2021 in State of the Community Speech.

This year will be better than last year, Mayor Randall Woodfin assured residents during his annual State of the Community speech Monday afternoon.

After a tumultuous 2020, which saw the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest over systemic racism, Woodfin promised greater opportunity in 2021 and reiterated his commitment to neighborhood revitalization.

“We have indeed been tested, and I believe as a city we are stronger and closer because of it,” he said. Read more.

Alabama Black Mayors Say It’s Time for a New Reconstruction, Lament Capitol Insurrection

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin described the Jan. 6 Capitol insurgency as a time when people “identified themselves as white supremacists,” which he said the country must acknowledge.

“To move the country forward, we have to acknowledge the pain it caused, have accountability and move forward,” he said during a livestreamed interview with Karen Attiah, global opinions editor for the Washington Post.

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed described the insurrectionists as people who felt they could get close enough to use deadly force. The terrorists exhibited “a level of privilege, entitlement and outright brazenness,” he added.

The two black mayors, whose cities represent the cradle and battlegrounds of the Civil Rights movement from the 1950s to the present day, were interviewed during a Facebook Live event by Karen Attiah, the global opinions editor of the Washington Post, on Friday, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. Read more.

Woodfin Released From Hospital, Recovering From COVID

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin has been released from the hospital two days after being admitted with COVID-related pneumonia. While his condition has improved, Woodfin will work from home and stay self-quarantined.

According to a Wednesday afternoon press release, doctors at Princeton Baptist Medical Center found “COVID pneumonia” in the mayor’s left lung.

“I’m blessed they caught it early,” Woodfin said in a statement. He received the drug Remdesivir and convalescent plasma therapy to combat the illness. Read more.

Birmingham Council Goes Virtual, Mayor Still Hospitalized

On Tuesday, for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Birmingham City Council opted for an all-virtual council meeting — though, at least initially, that format kept them from accomplishing much. Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin remains hospitalized with COVID-related pneumonia. Read more.