Mayor-elect Randall Woodfin discusses his top priorities as mayor of Birmingham

Randall Woodfin

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — After seven years with a 2-term incumbent, the city of Birmingham has elected a new mayor. At 36 years old, Randall Woodfin will be the city’s youngest mayor in modern history after defeating incumbent William Bell in the runoff election.

The former school board president came out with 59% of the vote. He says the message from the voters was very clear: they wanted a change.

Now that the elections are over, the city attorney is looking forward to his transition into his new role. He says assessments will be his first priority when he gets into office. He wants to look at the relationship between the mayor and the city council. He also wants to assess city personnel to make sure services are being provided effectively.

In assessing the city’s finances, Woodfin says he wants to work towards being more transparent about how taxpayer money is being spent.

“We don’t have a ‘we don’t have enough money’ problem, we have a ‘how our money is being spent’ problem,” Woodfin said.

On his 365-day campaign run, Woodfin went door to door speaking with residents from all over the city. As the mayor, Woodfin says he wants to address the problems he heard during his campaign. He says he wants to prioritize revitalization for the entire city and not just in specific areas.

Mayor Bell had a $40 million dollar plan to move the Police Headquarters Municipal Complex to the Ensley area. Woodfin has not been supportive of that plan, raising questions about the fate of the project as a new administration takes over.

“I am 100% committed to redeveloping and investing in Ensely as a neighborhood and as a community,” Woodfin said. “I’m just not necessarily for putting 40 million dollars into one building. If we’re going to put 40 million dollars into Ensley, we should put it into the entire community.”

Woodfin received big endorsements leading up to election day, including that of Senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders released the following statement after Woodfin’s victory:

“Congratulations to Mayor-Elect Randall Woodfin for running a great grassroots and winning campaign. I look forward to working with him in the months and years ahead, as he brings progressive government to Birmingham as its next mayor.”

Woodfin’s message to the city was one of gratitude as he thanked those who voted for and against him. He says he is committed to the people of Birmingham and he looks forward to working together.

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