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.
Woodfin previously announced that General Charles Krulak and former Alabama Power Vice President Bobbie Rhodes would lead his transition team, with campaign manager Ed Fields serving as transition coordinator.
Speaking at the press conference, Fields said the committees would operate on a 100-day schedule, first evaluating current city services, identifying “world-class best practices and opportunities” for their respective fields, and then developing “accountability measures and budget metrics” for those plans. The committees are expected to deliver three reports, Fields said, one in mid-December, followed by another in mid-February and a final report in early March.
Woodfin emphasized that the committees’ findings would be used by his administration and were not just for show.
“I’m not a ceremonial type of guy,” he said, mentioning that he’d served on committees in the past that did not make substantial contributions. “We have to get beyond the point in our city where we do things for ceremonial purposes only, and we have to get beyond talk.”
Fields said that more committee co-chairs would be announced as early as next week focusing on education, workforce development and training, and economic development and entrepreneurship. People interested in participating in the transition process may email firstname.lastname@example.org, Fields said.
Neighborhood Revitalization and Public Safety
The Neighborhood Revitalization and Public Safety Committee, Woodfin said, is tasked with developing a plan to “reduce crime in our neighborhoods as well as make neighborhood revitalization a priority in our city.”
“As you’ve heard me say throughout the campaign, we cannot be successful in revitalizing our neighborhoods until our parents, grandparents, our children and our grandchildren feel safe on their own front porch and in their own front yard,” they mayor-elect said. “We have to address public safety in a different way.”
Hamilton is a managing partner of BLOC Global Group, a real estate services firm with offices in Birmingham and Washington, D.C. His previous civic experience includes stints as a board member for the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, Birmingham Water Works, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Brookwood Medical Center and the Housing Fund. He also has served as an executive committee member for the Birmingham Business Alliance and Leadership Birmingham, according to his profile on BhamWiki.
Hamilton also served as a chief administrative assistant to former Birmingham Mayor Richard Arrington Jr. from 1997 to 1999. His biography on BLOC Global’s website states that he served as “chief advisor on matters of finance, economic development, and capital projects, while negotiating and structuring the City’s participation in numerous public/private partnerships.”
Patterson has been a member of the Birmingham Police Department for 24 years and has worked in the department’s patrol division, vice/narcotics unit and business compliance unit. In his capacity as an officer, he works with the Birmingham City Council; the city’s law department; planning, engineering and permits office; and tax and licensing office.
The transition team’s Social Justice Committee will “focus on the needs of our community that will include but is not limited to making sure we expand healthcare, addressing poverty, environmental concerns, human rights issues, homelessness issues, and many (others)… that have plagued our community for far too long,” Woodfin said.
Dunlap is president of the Alabama Public Health Institute and a professor emerita of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She also previously held the position of dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia.
Dunlap’s co-chair, Rice, is a lawyer and community organizer whom Woodfin described as a friend. Rice founded the Rice Firm, LLC, in 2009 and has served as a member of the board of directors for Alabama Possible, the Magic City Agriculture Project and Gasp. He also co-founded the Smithfield Community Action Team and the Grassroots Coalition of Birmingham.
Transparency and Efficient Government
The transition team’s Transparency and Efficient Government Committee will be an integral part of what Woodfin has described as “Operation Restore Trust,” an initiative designed to bring openness and accountability to operations at City Hall, “not just the mayor’s office,” Woodfin said. The committee also is tasked with developing a plan to “reform city regulations and processes to make sure people know Birmingham is open for business,” Woodfin said.
Co-chair Coleman is the former CEO of KCG Holdings, a trading firm that was bought by Virtu Financial for $1.4 billion in April. He was named as one of Institutional Investor’s “Top Tech 50” in 2016 and now is a lecturer at Birmingham-Southern College.
Co-chair Allen founded iSeek Solutions, a Birmingham-based consulting firm, in 2007. She also is on the board of directors for the nonprofit organization TechBirmingham and is a member of TechBridge’s Alabama Outreach Committee.
“In the space of public service, elected officials can’t do it alone,” Woodfin said to the assembled co-chairs as he concluded his introductions. “So I’m honored to have your support.”