Tag: Randall Woodfin

The Next 100: Woodfin Outlines Recommendations Committees Made on Neighborhoods, Economic Development and Schools, Among Others

Mayor Randall Woodfin in his “The First One Hundred” event Thursday evening presented the findings of his transition committees and vowed to make several changes to the structure of Birmingham’s city government based on the reports.

Woodfin gave his presentation during an event at the Alabama Theatre. Though the event’s title ostensibly referred to Woodfin’s first 100 days in office – a benchmark reached March 8 – Woodfin mostly ceded the spotlight to the heads of his transition team’s five citizen-led committees. He responded briefly to their suggestions at the end of each committee’s presentation.

Among the changes he said would be coming, Woodfin said he’s willing to form a formal partnership with the city school system. He also said he will reshape the mayor’s office’s division of economic development to the Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity, and he said he would create the Mayor’s Office of Social Justice during his next 100 days.

A 35-page booklet titled “The Woodfin Way: A Citizen-Led Transition for Progress in Birmingham” summarized the transition team’s findings and Woodfin’s resulting plans. The booklet was handed out during the event and is available online.

Transition committees reporting during the event were on neighborhood revitalization and public safety, education and workforce development, entrepreneurship and economic development, transparent and efficient government and social justice. Read more.
Read the full version of “The Woodfin Way: A Citizen-Led Transition for Progress in Birmingham.”

Rick Journey and Chanda Temple Joining Woodfin’s Staff

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin has tapped television news reporter Rick Journey to serve as his director of communications. Former Birmingham City Schools spokeswoman Chanda Temple also has taken the position of public information officer.

“Our administration’s focus on servant leadership by putting people first starts with transparency and providing a clear message to our citizens and our employees that we will serve with the public’s best interest at the core of our work,” Woodfin said in a statement. “I am pleased to have Rick and Chanda be part of providing that clear message and joining an administration committed to core values of transparency, efficiency, effectiveness, accountability and customer service.” Read more.

With First Demolition, Woodfin Promises “Aggressive” Approach to Blight

Dec. 1, 2017 — Mayor Randall Woodfin oversaw the demolition of a dilapidated house in Rising-West Princeton on Friday morning, an event that he said would exemplify his administration’s more aggressive approach to combating blight.

Woodfin said the issue of abandoned structures was “easily” one of the top two complaints he had received during the course of his mayoral campaign.

“People want their property value protected. They want to feel safe where they live,” he said. “The minimum we can do is getting more aggressive about getting rid of these dilapidated structures.”

Woodfin said his administration was beginning to inventory dilapidated structures across the city and then determine which should have their demolition prioritized. Read more.

Police Chief A.C. Roper Retires as Mayor Woodfin Looks to Make Personnel Changes at City Hall

Nov. 29, 2017 — Less than 24 hours after Mayor Randall Woodfin took office, Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper announced his retirement.

Roper, who has been chief since 2007, said in a statement that he’d informed Woodfin of his decision on Nov. 8. He said he had decided not to reapply for his position “after a considerable amount of prayer.” Roper said he’d stay on for the next few months as the search process begins for a new chief.

Roper’s future with the department had been in question since Woodfin’s election, though Woodfin stressed Monday that Roper’s resignation was voluntary. Throughout his campaign, Woodfin expressed concern over the increase of crime in the city. The city logged its 100th homicide of 2017 on Monday — roughly on track to tie 2016’s homicide count of 109, the highest number since 2006’s 110.

Woodfin when he spoke with BirminghamWatch on Monday described gun violence in Birmingham as an “epidemic” and said the city would have to combat crime “in a different way” than it had been.

Read more.

Woodfin Takes Office as Mayor, Promises Spirit of Collaboration at City Hall

Nov. 28, 2017 — “Truthfully, this is not my inauguration,” Randall Woodfin said shortly after he was sworn in as Birmingham’s 30th mayor. “This is our inauguration.”

That sentiment — that Woodfin’s administration will be a collective effort to improve the city — extended throughout most of the inauguration ceremony Tuesday afternoon. Before Woodfin took the oath of office, political commentator and motivational speaker Jeff Johnson urged attendees to ask themselves what they could do to improve the city. Singer-songwriter Sebastian Cole performed a cover version of John Legend’s “If You’re Out There,” a call-to-action anthem that quotes Gandhi’s “be the change you want to see.”

After Woodfin was sworn into office by Judge Nakita Blocton — with his mother, Cynthia Woodfin-Kellum, holding the bible — he, too, emphasized the importance of community collaboration. He cited the “grassroots movement we built from scratch” as having propelled him into office.

For much of his speech, Woodfin referred to himself and the nine members of the City Council as a unit, at one point calling them up to join him at the podium.

“The 10 of us collectively not only represent you, are dedicated to fighting for you, but wholeheartedly we believe in you,” he said. Read more.

Woodfin to Be Inaugurated as Birmingham’s New Mayor Tuesday

Randall Woodfin will be officially sworn in as Birmingham’s 30th mayor Tuesday, following his upset of incumbent William Bell in last month’s runoff.

Woodfin’s campaign was sometimes presented as a populist insurgency, leaning heavily on grassroots fundraising and endorsements from progressive figures such as former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Bell in a controversial speech he gave to members of his staff in August characterized Woodfin’s campaign as part of a nationwide effort focused on “restructuring the Democratic political dynamic” and compared Woodfin to Chokwe Lumumba, a self-described “radical” progressive candidate who became mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, earlier this year.

Woodfin has downplayed the narrative of himself as a far-left candidate, telling In These Times’ Katherine Webb-Hehn last month that he considered his platform as a “people-centered” and “lean-left” platform, not an “extreme” one. Read more.

Inaugural Day Events
Swearing-In Ceremony
Tuesday, 12 p.m., Linn Park

Watch Woodfin officially take the oath of office in Linn Park, just outside of City Hall. In a statement published on his website, Woodfin describes the event as “the culmination of more than a year of hard work by many, many people across our city who joined together to with his important election.”

Green Carpet Inaugural Reception
Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., Birmingham Museum of Art

Woodfin says he is “not a red-carpet kind of guy,” so he’s getting around that by changing the color of the carpet. The green carpet is meant to “recognize all the thousands of people who worked at the grassroots level to make our election a reality.” All are invited to the event, which is being held in conjunction with the Birmingham City Council.

Inaugural Events for Birmingham’s New Mayor

Mayor-elect Randall Woodfin will drop the “-elect” from his title when he is officially inaugurated as Birmingham’s 30th mayor Tuesday.

Festivities marking the inauguration began Sunday with a Day of Service, encouraging people to get out and better their community, and a Prayer for the City of Birmingham event held Sunday night.

Here’s a rundown of the inauguration day events:

Swearing-In Ceremony

Tuesday, Nov. 28, 12 p.m., Linn Park

Watch Woodfin officially take the oath of office in Linn Park, just outside of City Hall. In a statement published on his website, Woodfin describes the event as “the culmination of more than a year of hard work by many, many people across our city who joined together to with his important election.”

Green Carpet Inaugural Reception

Tuesday, Nov. 28, 5:30 p.m., Birmingham Museum of Art

Woodfin says he is “not a red-carpet kind of guy,” so he’s getting around that by changing the color of the carpet. The green carpet is meant to “recognize all the thousands of people who worked at the grassroots level to make our election a reality.” All are invited to the event, which is being held in conjunction with the Birmingham City Council.

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.

Woodfin Announces Leaders of Transition Committees

Oct. 23, 2017 — Mayor-elect Randall Woodfin announced Tuesday the chairs of three of his administration’s citizen-led transition committees.
Herschell Hamilton and Detective Ralph Patterson will head up the Neighborhood Revitalization and Public Safety Committee, Dr. Nancy Dunlap and Richard Rice will co-chair the Social Justice Committee, and Daniel Coleman and Annie Allen will helm the Transparency and Efficient Government Committee.
Woodfin introduced the six co-chairs during a press conference at the Negro Southern League Museum, describing their committees as a continuation of his campaign’s “neighborhoods-up” strategy.
“We’re still committed to not just a grassroots process, but committed to how we move our city forward for all the people that live in the city limits of Birmingham,” he said. Read more.

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