Who’s Running For Birmingham City Council?

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Birmingham City Council Chambers Sign

Outside the Birmingham City Council Chambers

Miranda Fulmore, WBHM

The Aug. 24 Birmingham city election has shaped up to be a contentious one, with voters going to the polls to elect the city’s next mayor, city councilors and board of education members.

In the mayor’s race, eight candidates — the current mayor, a former mayor, a Jefferson County commissioner, and several community activists and entrepreneurs — are pitted against each other.

The council races also have drawn a lot of attention. Most of the district races involve four or more candidates, with District 8 topping out with eight candidates. Only District 1 was uncontested. Incumbent Councilor Clinton Woods will return to that seat for another term.

Twenty-one people are running for eight seats on the Birmingham Board of Education. All of the board’s seats were contested except for District 7, where incumbent Walter “Big Walt” Wilson will return for another term.

BirminghamWatch has put together a Voter Guide with information you need to navigate the election, including profiles of each candidate, details about the voting process and the city sample ballot.

District 1

Clinton Woods

Headshot of Clinton Woods

Incumbent

Age: 34

Residence: Birmingham (Echo Highlands)

Political experience: Birmingham city councilor, 2019-present; campaign manager, Mark Pettway for sheriff, 2017-2018; previously worked as consultant on several other political campaigns

Professional experience: Owner, Prescott Contracting, 2017-present; construction manager, Tacoma Housing Authority, 2016-2017; general contractor, Prescott Contracting, 2012-2015; project manager, C.W. Woods Contracting, 2009-2012

Civic experience: Christ Church, executive pastor, 2014-19; member, board of Mission Increase Birmingham; created the Be Litter Free Initiative; created the Ready Set Read Initiative

Education: Master of engineering, construction management, UAB, 2012; bachelor of science in economics, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 2009

Significant endorsements: None listed

Top contributors: Millennials PAC, $5,000; Heart One Health and Safety, $3,000; self, loan, $2,094

Main Issues: Continue focusing on capital and economic development in District 1; focus on the review and implementation of the recommendations of the disparity study that is currently being completed; making strides in ensuring equitable opportunities in government contracting; more improvement in the number of students reading at grade level; ensuring that money from the American Rescue Plan funds is utilized in a way that best benefits the long-term needs of the city

Campaign: clintonwoods.org

District 2

Lawrence Conaway

Age: 62

Residence: Birmingham

Political experience: Candidate, Birmingham City Council District 2, 2017; candidate, Alabama House of Representatives District 54, 2014

Professional experience: Senior pastor, Fellowship Bible Church, 2013-present; associate pastor, Guiding Light Church, 1998-present; computer analyst, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 1987-1998; electronic technician, SCI Systems, Gray Electronics, Advance R&D, 1984-87

Civic experience: Director, Neighborhood Housing Services of Birmingham, 2009-present; chairman, Fellowship Bible Church, 2013-present; VAT chairman, United Way of Central Alabama, 2013-present; director, Gatekeepers Association of Alabama, 2015-present; committee member, Neighborhood Housing Services of Birmingham Foreclosure Prevention Committee, 2008-2009; founder, executive director, Charity in Action Inc., 2004-present

Education: Birmingham Theological Seminary, master’s, 2008; UAB, MBA, 1994; Athens State University, bachelor’s in instrumentation science, 1984; Bessemer State Technical College, associate’s degree, industrial electronics, 1981.

Significant endorsements: None listed

Top contributors: None reported

Main Issues: Create an alliance of people, stakeholders and organizations that will work together to develop solutions to reduce gun violence, develop programs for youths, attract more businesses, help existing businesses grow and get vacant houses back online

Campaign: lawrenceconaway.com

Kimberly Jeanty

Headshot of Kimberly Jeanty

Age: 46

Residence: Birmingham (East Lake)

Political experience: Candidate, Birmingham City Council District 2, 2017; committee assistant, Birmingham City Council, 2009-10, 2011-13; neighborhood liaison to Councilor Kim Rafferty’s office, 2009-2011

Professional experience: Virtual administrative assistant, self-employed, 2017-present; owner, Gigi’s Catering Service, 2011-present; past interim executive director, Ruffner Mountain, 2013; founder, Cash Mob: East Birmingham, 2012-14

Civic experience: Past president, South East Lake Neighborhood Association; past president; Roebuck Community; member, Citizens Advisory Board; past president and volunteer, East Lake Merchant Group; past board member and volunteer, East Lake Arts District; vendor, East Lake Farmers Market; member, International Council of Shopping Center; interim executive director and volunteer, Community Kitchens of Birmingham; volunteer, Northeastern Framework Planning Committee; volunteer, Alabama Veterans Memorial Park

Education: None listed

Significant endorsements: None listed

Top contributors: None reported

Main Issues: Communicate regularly the status of current district projects and inquire about the status of all capital projects for District 2; advocate for more small business incentives and resources, as well as more big business recruitment and retention; work to make sure every neighborhood gets its fair share of city funds

Campaign: jeantydistrict2.com

Don D. Scott

Headshot of Don D. Scott

Age: N/A

Political races: None

Political experience: None

Top contributors: None reported

Campaign: Don Scott’s Facebook Page

Hunter Williams

Headshot of Hunter Williams

Incumbent

Age: 34

Residence: Birmingham (Crestline)

Political experience: Councilor, Birmingham City Council District 2, 2017-present
Professional experience: Business Intelligence and Development, NuVasive, 2018-20; founder and president, Neurosafe, 2014-18; director, small commercial and personal lines, Molton, Allen & Williams, 2009-14

Education: Graduate Program, surgical neuromonitoring; University of Connecticut, 2015; Bachelor of Business Administration, Southern Methodist University, 2009; Jefferson County Sheriff’s Academy, 2010.

Top contributors: Michael A. Mouron, $5,000; Millennials PAC, $3,850; Samuel D. Herring, $3,000

Campaign: ‘Councilman Hunter Williams’ Facebook Page

District 3

Valerie Abbott

Headshot of Valerie Abbott

Incumbent

Age: N/A

Residence: Birmingham (Glen Iris)

Political experience: Birmingham City Council member, 2001-present

Professional experience: Manager at AT&T, 1974-2017

Civic experience: Secretary of Glen Iris Neighborhood Association for six years and president for 11 years, 1985-2001; president of the Southside Community for six years; member of the Magic City Civitan Club for eight years; chairman of the Birmingham Planning Commission; chairman of the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham

Education: Birmingham-Southern College, master of public and private management, 1999; Auburn University School of Architecture and Fine Art, bachelor’s degree, 1974

Significant endorsements: None listed

Top contributors: Larry Ward, $2,000; Millennium PAC, $250

Main Issues:

Campaign: ‘Councilor Valerie A. Abbott’ Facebook Page

Joseph Casper Baker III

Headshot of Joseph Casper Baker III

Age: 40

Residence: Birmingham (Glen Iris)

Political experience: Ran for State Representative for District 54 in 2018.

Professional experience: Self-employed, information technology and telecommunications consultant and contractor, 2009-present

Civic experience: Founder, I Believe in Birmingham, 2010-present; member, One Great Community Council, UAB, 2016-21; member, Birmingham Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, 2011-12; board member, Redemptive Cycles, 2014-16

Education: B.A. Philosophy, UAB, 2011

Top contributors: None reported

Main Issues: Following goals and building partnerships to achieve them: Dedicated funding for road and sidewalk maintenance; increased funding for Birmingham City Schools; protected bike lanes and expanded bus rapid transit routes; recruiting technology industries to invest/relocate here; adopting an open data law for the city to ensure transparency and accountability; funding adult education, entrepreneurial training and trade skills classes; increasing funding for the neighborhood associations; making broadband internet affordable and available to all households in the city

Campaign: ‘Elect Joseph Casper Baker III’ Facebook Page and https://www.electjcb3.com/

Wil Jones

Heashot of Wil Jones

Age: 33

Residence: Birmingham (Five Points South)

Political experience: None

Professional experience: U.S. Army (discharged as a sergeant in 2017); Pulmonary Research Lab, UAB School of Medicine

Civic experience: N/A

Education: Current student, UAB

Significant endorsements: Jefferson County Constable Mitchell Hagood

Top contributors: None reported

Main Issues: Attention to Birmingham’s violent crime; improving the school system to improve education outcomes; make public interaction with the city more efficient and make it easier for businesses to deal with the city government

Campaign: ‘Wil Jones for City Council’ Facebook Page

Alice Speake

Headshot of Alice Speake

Age: 35

Residence: Birmingham (Glen Iris)

Political races: None

Political experience: Canvasser/caller/fundraiser, Warren for President, 2019-20; poll watcher and committee member, Quang Do campaign, 2018; data entry, canvasser and fundraiser, Jenn Gray campaign, 2018; data entry and canvasser, Danner Kline campaign, 2017-18; volunteer, graphic design, Ryan Jones campaign, 2017; canvasser/volunteer, Doug Jones for Senate, 2017

Professional experience: Library page, Irondale Public Library, 2020-present; tutor and trainer, STAIR of Birmingham, 2018-present; private tutor, self-employed, 2016-present; undergraduate teaching assistant, UAB, 2013-14; on-site service specialist, Ricoh Americas Corp., 2012

Civic experience: Networking coordinator, CellA65, 2020-present; volunteer/political organizer, 2017-present; canvasser, Planned Parenthood Southeast, 2017-present

Education: Bachelor’s degree in biology, UAB, 2013-2021; Oconee County High School, 2004

Significant endorsements: None

Top contributors: None listed

Main Issues: Prioritize policies that center environmental justice, equitable job opportunities, rent control, and sustainable housing; prioritize infrastructure improvements, including equitably investing in road and sidewalk repairs and upgrading infrastructure to include full ADA compliance; reverse the city’s divesting of funding away from public services; ensure full funding of public libraries, parks and green spaces, and recreation centers; bring a public health lens to addressing public safety, and strengthen first responders city wide by investing in trained violence interrupters and crisis response teams; ensure business incentives uplift small businesses

Campaign: speakeforthepeople.com

District 4

Scottie McClaney

Headshot Scottie McClaney

Age: 57

Residence: Norwood

Political races: None

Political experience: None

Professional experience: Founder, Peek-A-Boo Vision, 2019-present; events director, Sloss Furnaces National Historic Museum, 2015-19; president, enVISION Consulting, 2014-17; grants program specialist, UAB, 2012-15; grants program manager, UAB, 2008-11; supplier diversity program administrator, UAB, 2005-08; Continuing Education Program coordinator, UAB, 1998-2001

Civic experience: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; Downtown Redevelopment Authority; Birmingham Parking Authority; Alabama Democratic Women; National Congress of Black Women; League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham; Emerge Alabama

Education: Master of public administration, UAB, 2013; bachelor of arts in business administration, Stillman College

Significant endorsements: Elect Black Women PAC; Building Bridges for America

Top contributors: Michael Mouron, $5,000; LaToya Waddy, $1,500; Robin A. Wade, $1,000

Main Issues: Addressing blight, crime, neighborhood revitalization, and the level of engagement, education and economic development; creating clean, safe, crime-reduced and vibrant neighborhoods; working to bridge the gaps of inequality between the neighborhoods in D4; building a D4 coalition to enrich neighborhoods

Campaign: beammeupscottie.vote

J.T. Moore

Headshot of J.T. Moore

Age: 33

Residence: Birmingham (South Woodlawn)

Political races: None

Political experience: None

Professional experience: Woodlawn coordinator, Volunteer Lawyers Birmingham, 2019-present; manager of community partnerships, Woodlawn Foundation, 2018-19; Teen Center coordinator/programs manager/clubhouse director, A.G. Gaston Boys and Girls Club, 2012-18; blueprints mentor, Alabama Possible, 2011-12

Civic experience: I3 Academy Young Professional, 2020-present; Words on Wheels Bus, 2019-present

Education: UAB, 2012-14; University of West Alabama, 2007-08; Tuskegee University, 2006-07

Significant endorsements: None reported

Top contributors: Self, Loan, $1,088.09; Dominique Carreker, $1,000; Daniel Edwards, $700

Main Issues: Restoring power to citizens; building synergy among citizens through Neighborhood Association, equipping them with information, and working with them to address the issues in their neighborhoods; addressing public safety issues by developing block watches that partner with police and issue specific nonprofit organizations to make significant impact in communities; taking responsibility for establishing ways to promote pride in the district through beautification, celebrating both individuals and blocks within neighborhoods that showcase pride in the pride; finding ways to make it easier for residents to acquire vacant lots through the Land Bank Authority; working to establish a dedicated entertainment space for young people.

Campaign: moorefor4.com

William Parker

Headshot of William Parker

Incumbent

Age: 49

Residence: Birmingham (Collegeville)

Political experience: Birmingham city councilor, District 4, 2013-present; Alabama State Representative, District 59, 1998-2002

Professional experience: Former aide to the late Councilor Maxine Parker and a legislative aide to former U.S. Rep. Earl Hilliard

Education: Talladega College, 1994

Significant endorsements: None reported

Top contributors: None reported

Main Issues: N/A

Campaign: ‘William Parker District 4’ Facebook Page

Qunelius “Cory” Pettway

Headshot of Qunelius “Cory” Pettway

Age: 32

Residence: Birmingham (Inglenook)

Political races: Candidate, Alabama DNC Delegation, Bernie Sanders, 2020; Alabama Democratic Executive Committee, 2019-present; Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee, 2018-present; candidate, Birmingham City Council District 4, 2017

Political experience: None

Professional experience: District 5 community liaison, City of Birmingham, 2017-20; early childhood educator, Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity, 2016-17; event specialist/nutrition support, McWane Science Center, 2015-16

Civic experience: Board member, Alabama River Alliance, 2020-present; junior board member and EDI Committee member, Cahaba River Society, 2019-present; member, NAACP Birmingham, 2019-present; member, Alabama Juneteenth Observance Committee, 2018-present; co-founder and member, Our Revolution Birmingham, 2018-present; member, New Era Birmingham, 2018-present; Birmingham Barber Coalition, 2017-present; co-founder and member, 100 Black Men Deep Walk, 2016-present; co-founder and member, The Willing Family, 2016-present; co-founder and member, Birmingham Grassroots Coalition, 2016-present; member, GASP Inc., 2018-2020; president of Parent Council, JCCEO Kingston, 2016-20

Education: Political Leadership Training, Congressional Black Caucus Institute, 2018; Midfield High School, 2006

Significant endorsements: Democratic Socialists of America-Birmingham Chapter, Alabama Working Party, Future Generations PAC

Top contributors: Freddie Perry, $1,000; Lakisha Cohill, $500; Avee Shabazz, $500

Main Issues: Strengthen the 22 neighborhood associations within the district; create positive sustainable change by getting people affected by the same issues together to work on the solutions; meet with the officers, neighborhood leaders and other community stakeholders to help create plans to increase neighborhood participation; use the power of a collective unit working together in an effort to improve the quality of life

Campaign: corypettway.com

Gwendolyn Cook Webb

Headshot of Gwendolyn Cook Webb

Age: 72

Residence: Birmingham (Inglenook)

Political races: Neighborhood president, Inglenook, 2017-21; community president, East Birmingham Community, 2017-21

Political experience: Neighborhood president, Inglenook, 2017-21; community president, East Birmingham Community, 2017-21

Professional experience: Administrative assistant to District 4 City Council member Gwen Sykes, 2000-05; Birmingham Police Department, 1975

Civic experience: Founding board member, Birmingham Black Radio Museum, 2004; member, Jefferson County Judicial Commission, 1984-89; member, Mayor Richard Arrington’s drug task force, 1987; co-founder, Civil Rights Activist Committee, 1980; former board member, Neighborhoods USA

Education: Certificate of divinity studies, Samford University, 2021; business administration, UAB, 1967; Western Olin High School, 1967

Significant endorsements: None listed

Top contributors: ActBlue, $550; Waynew Global Holdings LLC, $500; Linda Malone, $200; Ava L. Wise, $200

Main Issues: Partner with school system to open Kirby Middle School in North Birmingham, Callaway Elementary School in Collegeville and Gate City School in Gate City for elementary remedial as well as adult continuing education and technical education courses; create free civics classes on how government and the economy work, voting rights and how to petition government to correct grievances; expand neighborhood code enforcement for quality of life; contract for better lighting, eliminating overgrown lots and abandoned housing; explore creation of pocket parks; restore city workers’ holiday pay; promote public safety officer recruitment from their local neighborhoods; assist neighborhood associations in securing tax exempt status to facilitate fundraising capability beyond the City of Birmingham; open City Hall for free notary services twice a month; assure that nominations for appointments to the Birmingham Water Works Board and other city agencies are filled with people of proven commitment to the progress of the city.

Campaign: webb4bhamdistrict4.com

District 5

Richard E. Franklin Jr.

Headshot of Richard E. Franklin Jr.

Age: 40

Residence: Smithfield

Political races: None

Political experience: None

Professional experience: President, Birmingham Federation of Teachers Local 2115, 2011-present; Birmingham City Schools, 2006-11, swim team coach, City of Birmingham Park and Recreation, 2005-2011

Civic experience: Member, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; member, Southern Christian Leadership Conference; vice president, State American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations; president, Birmingham Federation of Teachers, Local 2115; member, American Federation of Teachers Racial Task Force

Education: Lawson State Community College, 2004; A.H. Parker High School, 1999

Significant endorsements: Central Labor Council, Workers Family Party

Top contributors: Self, loan, $5,000

Main Issues: Address blight, communicate to neighborhoods in real time and assist in creating youth programs, while supporting existing programs; bring down the city’s rising crime rate; fight for the city, especially the children; work to connect people and opportunities for children and families; enforce the leash law, with GBHS to address stray animals, and with the mayor’s office to expedite cleaning neighborhoods; give all communities the visibility and transparency they desire

Campaign: rfranklindistrict5.com

Darrell O’Quinn

Headshot of Darrell O’Quinn

Incumbent

Age: 49

Residence: Birmingham (Crestwood)

Political races: Birmingham City Council District 5, 2017

Political experience: Birmingham City Council District 5, 2017-present

Professional experience: Executive director, Move 20/59, 2015-16; veterinarian scientist, UAB, 2000-15

Civic experience: Ph.D. in pathology, UAB, 2005; doctor of veterinary medicine, Louisiana State University, 2000; bachelor of science in zoology, Louisiana State University, 1995; president, City of Birmingham Citizen Advisory Board, 2014-2017; member, Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee, 2015-present; member, UAB CCTS One Great Community Council, 2016-present; member, YMBC Civic Forum, 2015-present; member, City of Birmingham Comprehensive Plan Implementation Committee, 2015-2017; Board of Directors, Keep Birmingham Beautiful Commission, 2014-2017; graduate, Leadership Birmingham 2015; Board of Directors, Deep South Cancer Foundation, 2015-2018; Board of Directors, Redemptive Cycles, 2012-2014; co-founder, Heart to Table: A Feeding Project for the Boutwell Auditorium Winter Warming Station, 2015; Birmingham Metro NAACP Community Empowerment Award (2015)

Education: Ph.D. in pathology, UAB, 2005; doctor of veterinary medicine, Louisiana State University, 2000; bachelor of science in zoology, Louisiana State University, 1995
Significant endorsements: None listed

Top contributors: Raymond Harbert, $5,000; F. Dixon Brooke, $2,500; Del Brooke, $2,500; J. Richard Schmalz, $2,500

Main Issues: Creating improved access to health care, employment and education opportunities; addressing gun violence with a multi-pronged approach ranging from community street outreach teams to hospital-based violence intervention programs to conflict resolution training; work in partnership with other agencies such as the Jefferson County Department of Health, the Birmingham City Council to develop initiatives to reduce violence and promote peace; use the $141M in American Rescue Plan funding the city recently received as an opportunity for Birmingham to address the pandemic-induced increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless and to improve blighted properties by advancing homeownership and building generational wealth

Campaign: votedoq2021.com

Hiram G. Rahim

No information could be found on Hiram G. Rahim

Erica Star Robbins

Headshot of Erica Star Robbins

Age: 39

Residence: Birmingham (Crestwood)

Political experience: Candidate, Birmingham City Council District 5, 2017

Professional experience: Founder, Be A Blessing Birmingham, 2015-present; 10 years working in corporate America

Civic experience: Member, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; Recipient, Community Impact Award, Birmingham Urban League; Recipient, Birmingham Business Journal Leader in Diversity Award; Honoree, 2020 Women Shaping Alabama

Education: Florida Coastal School of Law; B.S. in history and political science, Stillman College, 2003; Munford High School, 2000

Significant endorsements: Future Generations

Top contributors: None reported

Main Issues: Listening to constituents, expanding resources for mental health, fostering partnerships between schools and mentorship programs and encouraging entrepreneurship.

Campaign: ‘Erica Robbins District 5’ Facebook Page

Roshanique Yvette Taylor

Age: N/A

Residence: Birmingham

Political experience: None

Professional experience: Ambassador, City of Birmingham ACE Initiative, 2019-present; benefits consultant, Aflac Insurance, 2018-prsent; State of Alabama notary, 2018-present; independent beauty consultant, Mary Kay, 2017-present; disc jockey, BlackBerry Entertainment LLC, 2016-present; owner-operator, Angles at Your Service Inc., 2012-present;

Civic experience: N/A

Education: Virginia College

Significant endorsements: None listed

Top contributors: None reported

Main Issues: N/A

Campaign: ‘Roshanique Taylor for City Council District 5’ Facebook Page

District 6

Keith Aaron

Headshot of Keith Aaron

Age: 60

Residence: Birmingham (Arlington-West End)

Political experience: Candidate, Birmingham City Council District 6, 2009, 2013

Professional experience: Self-employed

Civic experience: Former president, Arlington-West End Neighborhood Association

Education: Bachelor’s degree in political science, Miles College

Significant endorsements: None listed

Top contributors: Clarence Harris, $4,000; Jonathan Hasberry, $1,000; KemCo LLC, $500

Main Issues: Partner with organizations to rehab houses and encourage homeownership; push for landfill transfer stations in District 6; aggressively pursue a grocery store and full-service restaurants; launch training center for technology and construction.

Campaign: keithaaronforcitycouncilcom.wordpress.com

Crystal Smitherman

Headshot of Crystal Smitherman

Incumbent

Age: 28

Residence: Birmingham

Political experience: Birmingham City Councilor, 2019-present

Professional experience: Attorney at law, Smitherman Law Firm, 2019-present; summer law clerk, Marsh, Richard & Bryan, P.C., 2017; administrative assistant, Highland Park Golf Course and Country Club, 2016; education outreach coordinator, Girls Inc., 2015-2016; legal intern, Farris, Riley & Pitt LLP, 2015-2016

Civic experience: Member, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, 2017-present; volunteer, Christian Service Mission, 2011-present; volunteer, RISE Center at the University of Alabama, 2018-present; volunteer counselor, YouthServe Inc., 2013; assistant, Ronald McDonald House Charities, 2012

Education: Juris Doctorate in Law, University of Alabama School of Law, 2019; Juris doctor, Samford University, Cumberland School of Law, 2019; bachelor’s degree in Biology, Hampton University, 2015; Ramsay High School, 2011

Significant endorsements: None listed

Top contributors: The Committee for Good Government, $4,000; Leadership PAC, $3,000; Dick Schmalz, $3,000

Main Issues: Recycling, addressing illegal dumping, street and park lighting, “Cure Violence” initiative, a continuation of STEM tutoring in schools, make sure pension is stable, promote affordable housing, help Cahaba Medical increase their services

Campaign: crystalfordistrict6.com

Keith O. Williams

Headshot of Keith O. Williams

Age: 47

Residence: Birmingham

Political experience: Vice president, North Titusville Neighborhood Association, 2018-present; candidate, Alabama Democratic Executive Committee Delegate for District 55, 2018; candidate, Birmingham City Council District 6, 2017

Professional experience: Owner and founder, Keith O. Williams & Associates; associate minister, St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church; pastoral care pastor, Church of the Highlands, 2018-present; owner/web developer, Greater Works Business Services LLC, 1998-present; retail sales associate, Walmart, 2018; customer service associate, Lowe’s Home Improvement, 2017-18; associate minister, True Light Missionary Baptist Church, 2017-18; overnight support manager, Walmart, 2016-17

Civic experience: U.S. Army; member, Our Revolution Birmingham; member, Faith in Action Alabama; member, Alabama Arise; member, Birmingham United Neighborhoods; founding member, Neighborhood Advocates for Justice; co-founder, Voters Legal Justice Watch Group

Education: Certified life coach, Transformation Academy; certified counseling practitioner, Achology; bachelor’s degree in business administration, Liberty University, 2008; Cathedral College, 2001; World Bible School, 1999; Alabama State University, 1996; A.H. Parker High School, 1992

Significant endorsements: None listed

Top contributors: None reported

Main Issues: Invest in people by inviting them to the table so they can have a voice; making sure the needs of the people are taken care of us; stop the practice of politicians who claim to be progressive but who get elected and promote policies that are contrary to their campaign platforms

Campaign: keithowilliams.info

District 7

Wardine Towers Alexander

Headshot of Wardine Towers Alexander

Incumbent

Age: 66

Residence: Birmingham (Roosevelt)

Political experience: Birmingham City Councilor, 2018-present; president, Birmingham School Board, 2015-2017; member, Birmingham School Board, 2013-2017

Professional experience: Quality assurance supervisor (retired), Baxter Healthcare, 1999-2017; education manager (retired), American Red Cross Blood Services, 1977-1999

Civic experience: Member, One Roof Board of Directors, 2016-18; member, Trinity Community Development Center Board of Directors, 2016-present; trustee, Birmingham Public Libraries, 2017-2018; member, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. (Omicron Omega Chapter), 1982-present; member, Tri-County (AL) Chapter of the Links, 2013-present

Education: MT(ASCP)BB certification, American Society of Clinical Pathologists, 1980; MT(ASCP) certification, American Society of Clinical Pathologists, 1978; bachelor of science, UAB, 1978; advanced academic diploma, Wenonah High School

Significant endorsements: Laborers Local Union 559

Top contributors: Millennials PAC, $2,000; Southern Strategy Group PAC, $1,500; Corporate Realty Development LLC, $1,250

Main Issues: Continue to focus on the 3C’s (cleanliness, community revitalization and COVID-19 rapid response), that are vital to improve the quality of life for District 7 residents and to transform D7 into the best place to live, work, and play

Campaign: votewardine.com

La’Toya Lee

Headshot of La’Toya Lee

Age: N/A

Residence: N/A

Political experience: None

Professional experience: Case manager, Jefferson County Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Authority, 2019-present; family service worker, JCCEO Head Start, 2017-19; substitute teacher, Birmingham City Schools, 2016-17; cashier, Winn-Dixie, 2014-16; family advocate, Montgomery Community Action Agency, 2008-16; teacher assistant, Montgomery Community Action Agency, 2006-08

Civic experience: Core leadership team for Women’s Initiative, City of Birmingham, 2021-present

Education: Diploma in Bible studies, Samford Ministry Training, 2017-22; degree in social work, Alabama State University, 2001-07; Wenonah High School, 1997-2001

Significant endorsements: None listed

Top contributors: None reported

Main Issues: None reported

Campaign: ‘Vote La’Toya Lee for District 7 Birmingham City Council’ Facebook Page

Lonnie Malone

Headshot of Lonnie Malone

Age: 47

Residence: Birmingham (Oxmoor Valley)

Political experience: Applicant, Birmingham City Council District 7, 2018; candidate, Birmingham City Council District 7, 2017

Professional experience: Executive director, The Effective Family Inc., 2012-present; VIP support, BBVA Compass Bank, 2010-2011; data center manager, EDS, 1999-2010

Civic experience: Volunteer, leader and coordinator, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Omega Psi Phi, 2009-present

Education: Master of religious education, West Coast Bible and Seminary College, 2012; bachelor of science in technical management, Herzing University, 2002

Significant endorsements: None listed

Top contributors: Julia Juarez, $641.90; Anthony Wright, $300; Joy Muhamad, $275

Main Issues: Clean up district; report potholes and abandoned homes; advocate for storm shelters throughout the district; encourage workforce development apprenticeships and career opportunities with local business; promote self-policing; create a community arts center; advocate for new businesses and jobs in District 7

Campaign: lonniemalonedistrict7.com

Don “Donnie” Stone

Headshot of Don “Donnie” Stone

Age: N/A

Residence: Birmingham

Political experience: None

Professional experience: Founder, Princeton Furniture Market; over 20 years of experience as an insurance industry broker/entrepreneur

Civic experience: Former volunteer GED teacher, Jefferson County Family Court; Friends of the Federation of Southern Co-Operative Black Farmers, credit unions, and Black farm co-ops; volunteer basketball coach

Education: BBA degree in marketing, Alabama State University; Lawson State Community College; Birmingham City Schools

Significant endorsements: None listed

Top contributors: None reported

Main Issues: Team up with the district attorney, neighborhood residents, leaders and law enforcement to create safe communities, using community policing and neighborhood interaction to reduce and solve violent crimes and murders; speak out for more police accountability and against random traffic stops in communities of color only; innovate to create good-paying jobs, job training and entrepreneurship programs with Lawson State and on-job training; create western-area community development initiatives to encourage investment in the community; redesign dilapidated houses and create a path to homeownership, including a $4,000 grant to rehabilitate and live in dilapidated housing

Campaign: Don Stone’s Facebook Page

District 8

Carol Clarke

Headshot of Carol Clarke

Age: 58

Residence: Birmingham (Bush Hills)

Political experience: Appointed member, Birmingham School Board, 2012; Director of economic development, City of Birmingham, 2003-08; chief administrative assistant, Capital Projects, City of Birmingham, 2000-03

Professional experience: Commercial real estate development, 2017-present; community development roles in the banking industry, 2008-2017; City of Birmingham Mayor’s Office, 2000-2008; capital program management consulting for public sector clients (such as universities, cities & housing authorities), 1995-99; energy engineering for the public utility industry, 1983-94

Civic experience: Vice president and co-founder, Bush Hills Connections; board member and past chair, Create Birmingham; southeastern board member, Operation HOPE; board secretary and 2017 Jazz Festival chair, Taste of Fourth Avenue; Core Committee, Jefferson County Memorial Project; board member and program committee member, REV Birmingham; member, Birmingham Industrial Development Board; member, Birmingham Land Bank Authority; former member, Neighborhood Services of Birmingham, Board and Development Committee; former board member and Housing Committee chair, Aletheia House; former board member and fundraising committee chair, Urban Impact; former advisory board member, Birmingham Museum of Art

Education: Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering, Georgia Tech, 1987

Significant endorsements: None listed

Top contributors: Pride PAC II, $2,000; Monique Rogers, $2,000; Greg Gratton, $2,000

Main Issues: Listen to constituents and advocate for actions that improve quality of life with the following key focus areas in mind: creating safe and empowered neighborhoods by strengthening partnerships among the Police Department, non-profits, residents and businesses to help reduce gun violence and other crimes, and prioritizing streetlighting, clearing of overgrown lots, and investments in housing; promoting inclusive economic recovery by strengthening places such as Five Points West with more quality options, and ensuring the city’s purchasing and incentive policies are inclusive and support of minority-owned businesses; and getting more city services to District 8, including resurfacing streets, improving storm drains and making to repairs to recreational facilities, and increasing environmental awareness to encourage recycling

Campaign: clarked8.com

Barbara Files-Kennedy

Headshot of Barbara Files-Kennedy

Age: N/A

Residence: Birmingham

Political experience: None

Professional experience: Owner, Oncallnotary, 2016-present; founder/executive senior coach, Issues Topics & Solutions, 2016-present behavioral change counselor, UAB, 2007-present; motivational speaker, MayaTech, 2007-present; case manager/housing specialist for UAB Substance Abuse Programs, 2003-2007; street outreach worker/team supervisor, UAB, 1998-2003; prevention/addictions treatment consultant, Royal Divinity Industries, 1998-present

Civic experience: Associate prevention specialist, Alabama Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association; associate addictions professional, Alabama Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association; HIV/AIDS education and prevention instructor, American Red Cross; notary public for the state at large

Education: Miles College, 2007

Significant endorsements: None listed

Top contributors: Valencia Green, $600; Mary L. Holt, $500; ENG Construction, $209.30

Main Issues: Organize community events centered on educating youth and seniors for the betterment of the environment (topics: health and nutrition, recycling, culture, etc.); create a sense of family for District 8 for a more efficient and effective environmental system; provide greater support for nonprofits to give the community a helping hand; 1-on-1 engagements with residents of District 8

Campaign: barbarafileskennedy.com

Lynette Peters

Headshot of Lynette Peters

Age: 55

Residence: Birmingham (Ensley)

Political experience: Candidate, Birmingham City Council District 8, 2017

Professional experience: Accounting, 1 Stop Solutions LLC, 2006-present; 1-800 Wreckers, 2004-2012; Kelly Temporary Services, 1997-2004; Pitts & Daniels accounting firm, 1995-1997; Sardis Baptist Church, 1992-1994; Fourth Avenue YMCA, 1990-1992

Civic experience: President, vice president and secretary, Ensley Highlands Neighborhood Association, 23 years; president, Bush Middle School PTA; secretary, Bush Middle School; vice president, Five Points West Community; volunteer, Girl Scout troop leader; worked to keep open Bush Middle School and Ensley branch library, and with early planning of CrossPlex

Education: Virginia College, medical billing and coding, 2010-2012; Southern Junior College, computer science, 1990-1992; USA Training Academy, secretarial degree, 1987-1989; Salem Attendance Center, high school diploma, 1978-1983

Significant endorsements: None listed

Top contributors: None reported

Main Issues: End Birmingham’s stagnancy in education and jobs and improve the quality of life for the residents of District 8; provide leadership to fulfill growth potential and bring about needed action.

Campaign: Lynette Peters For City Council Birmingham District 8′ Facebook Page

Celida “Celi” Soto

Headshot of Celida “Celi” Soto

Age: 41

Residence: Birmingham (Bush Hills)

Political races: None

Political experience: None

Professional experience: Hunger advocacy coordinator, Alabama Arise, 2019-present; educational liaison, UAB Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center, 2014-19; U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce, 2009; Social Security Administration, 2007-09; child protective service investigator, Division of Youth and Family Services, 2002-07; academic adviser, Harlem Center for Education, 2002

Civic experience: Board of Directors, Dynamite Hill-Smithfield Community Land Trust, 2021-present; co-founder, People’s Budget Birmingham, 2020-present; Board of Directors, SWEET Alabama, 2019-present; volunteer, Be a Blessing Birmingham, 2017-present; volunteer leader, Margins: Helping Black Women, 2019-present

Education: Bachelor’s degree with sociology and administration of justice, Rutgers University, 2002

Significant endorsements: Working Families Party; Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union; Democratic Socialists of America, Birmingham Chapter; Future Generations PAC; Central Alabama Labor Federation (AFL-CIO), and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union local.

Top contributors: 3rd Avenue Shell Station, $400; Sophie Henderson, $234.10

Main Issues: Invest in community groups to establish violence-interruption programs; pass an ordinance to establish trained crisis response teams with mental health professionals and social workers; establish a free mental health crisis center in partnership with hospitals in the western area, and pursue grants and discretionary money to fund extended-hour youth programs that are staffed with crisis and de-escalation specialists; ensure that incentives support the black enterprises; fight for residents to be prioritized by pushing any corporation seeking to do business within District 8 to sign an agreement that includes the priorities named by neighborhood associations, community-based nonprofits, unions, and black-owned businesses

Campaign: celi4change.com

Adlai Trone

Headshot of Adlai Trone

Age: 44

Residence: Birmingham (Fairview)

Political experience: Candidate, mayor of Birmingham, 2013

Professional experience: Radio personality, Magic City Sports Talk Show, 2016-20; financial planner, NFL; substitute teacher, Birmingham City Schools; financial planner, Ameriprise Financial, 2001-13; defensive specialist and wide receiver, Birmingham Steeldogs, 2000-01

Civic experience: President, Fairview Neighborhood Association; Member, Advisory Board for Offenders Alumni Association

Education: Bachelor’s degree in finance, master’s degree in business administration, Auburn University, 2001; Hewitt-Trussville High School

Significant endorsements: None listed

Top contributors: Thersa Trone, $1,000; Clifford Tarver, $600; A.D.’s Poet Tree, $375

Main Issues: Make District 8 the home for stable and quality businesses with a plan from City Hall that is led by dedicated, creative and steady leadership; bring integrity and transparency as the No. 1 priority in leading government; implement plans to promote existing resources with grass-roots community initiatives

Campaign: adlaitrone.net

Harry “Traveling Shoes” Turner

Headshot of Harry “Traveling Shoes” Turner

Age: 55

Residence: Birmingham

Political experience: Candidate, mayor of Birmingham, 2009, 2011

Professional experience: Founder, director, CEO at Traveling Shoes Healing Skater, 2021; spokesperson, Zio Memorial Gardens, 2019-present; CEO, Traveling Shoes Help U Services, 2011-present; clerk, United States Postal Service, 2003-present

Civic experience: State and local legislative director, American Postal Workers Union; former member, Alabama District Diversity Committee; graduate, Birmingham Police Citizen Academy; graduate, Birmingham Fire and Rescue Citizen Academy; volunteer Birmingham police chaplain; notary public; president, Miles College Upward Bound Program, 1983

Education: Studied American sign language, UAB, 1996; New York School of Real Estate, 1992; State University of New York at Farmingdale, 1991; Banks High School, 1983

Significant endorsements: None listed

Top contributors: None reported

Main Issues: Decreasing gun violence

Campaign: ‘Harry “Traveling Shoes Preacher” Turner’ Facebook Page

D. Denise Webber-Jenkins

Headshot of D. Denise Webber-Jenkins

Age: 51

Residence: Birmingham (Belview Heights)

Political experience: None

Professional experience: Paralegal Specialist/Manager, 2005-2017; entrepreneur of 27 years in the legal and corporate environments; legal administrative assistant, Burke Harvey Law Firm; 2018; liability analyst, City of Memphis Attorney’s Office, 2008; City of Memphis Division of Public Works, 2004; City of Memphis Neighborhood & Parks Division, 2000; administration specialist; State of Tennessee; case manager, Shelby County Community Service Agency; City of Memphis Division of Parks and Neighborhoods; owner/manager, The Webber Paralegal Firm 2005-present

Civic experience: Member, Magic City Bar Association; member, Holy Family Catholic Academy (HFCA); member, Black Women Lawyers Association of Alabama; member, Birmingham School of Law Women Association; member, Black Law Students Association

Education: Juris doctor of law, Birmingham School of Law, 2022; master’s degree in management/leadership, Strayer University, 2019; bachelor’s in management and administration, LeMoyne-Owen College, 2015; AAS degree, paralegal studies, Southwest Tennessee College, 2007; pre-law, University of Memphis, 2001

Significant endorsements: None listed

Top contributors: None reported

Main Issues: Create job opportunities in the district and the city of Birmingham; focus on crime reduction by strengthening community policing and requiring precinct captains and lieutenants to engage in community meetings; fight to strengthen partnerships with various law enforcement agencies to better fight crime; work to improve and rebuild the Birmingham School system to reduce the school-to-prison pipeline; fight to create more job opportunities, aide in building a school system that provides a better education; work to secure funding for the Birmingham Schools, Police Department, Fire Department, Parks, recreation facilities and community neighborhood projects; work with elected officials, regional directors and citizens across the city to make Birmingham more unified, attractive, prosperous, clean and safe

Campaign: votedenise4citycouncild8.com

Wanda Wright

Photo of Wanda Wright

Age: N/A

Residence: Birmingham

Political races: None

Political experience: None

Professional experience: N/A

Civic experience: N/A

Education: Lawson State Community College; West End High School, 1993

Significant endorsements: N/A

Top contributors: None reported

Main Issues: None reported

Campaign: N/A

District 9

Eric Hall

Headshot of Eric Hall

Age: 39

Residence: Birmingham (Central Pratt)

Political experience: Candidate, Birmingham City Council District 9, 2013, 2017; community liaison, Birmingham City Council, 2014-16

Professional experience: Associate minister, Peace Missionary Baptist Church; veteran, United States Army

Civic experience: Organizer, National Labor Movement Campaign to support Amazon union drive, 2021; inaugural fellow, Black to the Future Public Policy Institute, 2020; inaugural fellow, Movement School progressive movement, 2019; fellow, Young People For (YP4), 2018; former president, Central Pratt Neighborhood Association; executive director, Angel Toy Drive; founding member, Black Lives Matter Birmingham; co-chair, Our Revolution Birmingham; recipient, 12th Annual A.G. Gaston Community Service Award, 2016; organizer, “Camp Noah” Summer Programs, 2011

Education: Alabama A&M University (attending); bachelor’s degree in political science, Miles College, 2018; Jackson Olin High School, 2000

Significant endorsements: RWDSU Midsouth Council; Democratic Socialists of America – Birmingham Chapter; Working Families Party; Future Generations PAC

Top contributors: None reported

Main Issues: Invest in making communities stronger and safer through quality, affordable housing, living wage employment, public transportation, education and health care that includes voluntary, harm reduction and patient-driven, community-based mental health and substance abuse treatment; transform how we address public safety by supporting the current system with strong investment in community-based transformative violence prevention and intervention strategies that offer support for criminalized populations; ensure that policies reflect that Black Lives Matter

Campaign: ‘Elect Eric Hall for Birmingham City Council District 9’ Facebook Page

John Hilliard

Headshot of John Hilliard

Incumbent

Age: 60

Residence: Birmingham

Political races: Birmingham City Council District 9, 2017; Alabama Legislature, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010

Political experience: Birmingham City Council District 9, 2017-present; Alabama State Representative, House District 60, 1993-2003

Professional experience: Private business owner, in real estate and bonding

Civic experience: State Democratic Executive Committee, 20 years; delegate to two presidential conventions; Jefferson County Citizens Coalition and foster care and youth organizations

Education: Alabama State University, bachelor’s degree in business administration-management; A.H. Parker High School

Significant endorsements: None listed

Top contributors: Millennials PAC, $4,000; Richard Schmalz, $2,000; Southern Strategy Group PAC, $1,500; Blount Equipment Services LLC, $1,500; Anthony Ifediba, $1,500

Main Issues: Promote public safety, education and economic development in the neighborhoods; support funding of community policing initiatives and improving schools to tackle public safety and economic development issues; ensure that the City Council budgets more money Birmingham City Schools and funds after-school programs that prepare students for career opportunities; bring retail businesses and recruit new industrial jobs to District 9; work to make it possible for residents to take ownership of vacant homes and vacant lots and revitalize the community from within

Campaign: johnhilliardd9.com

David Russell

Headshot of David Russell

Age: N/A

Residence: Birmingham (Smithfield Estates)

Political experience: Candidate, Alabama Public Service Commission, 1982; candidate, Birmingham City Council District 9, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2013, 2017; candidate, Alabama House District 60, 2002, 2006, 2010; member, Jefferson County and Alabama Democratic Executive Committee; member, Birmingham Water Works committee on rates; volunteer, voter registration drives

Professional experience: Insurance agent; administrative assistant at Alabama State University, 15 years

Civic experience: President, Neighborhood Block Watch in Smithfield Estates; parade grand marshal, Erskine Hawkins Function at the Junction parade; volunteer, Function at the Junction music events; volunteer, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

Education: Alabama State University, bachelor’s degree in business and economics.

Significant endorsements: N/A

Top contributors: None reported

Main Issues: N/A

Campaign: N/A

LaTonya Tate

Headshot of LaTonya Tate

Age: 56

Residence: Birmingham (North Birmingham)

Political races: None

Political experience: None

Professional experience: Probation and parole officer, Florida Department of Corrections, 2006-14; Jefferson County Department of Health, 2001-07

Civic experience: Community activist, voter registration

Education: B.S. in criminal justice administration and security, M.S. in criminal justice administration, University of Phoenix; M.S. in public administration/government and policy, Grand Canyon University

Significant endorsements: Elect Black Women PAC, Building Bridges for America

Top contributors: Jon Love, $500; Elizabeth Shannon, $311.84; Maurice Tate, $208.30; Pat Vandermeer, $208.30

Main Issues: Invest in community programs working to help restore rights of formerly incarcerated individuals and connect them with new job training as well as educational and mentoring opportunities to ensure their success long-term; work with community organizations and activists to create a comprehensive violence reduction initiative that addresses mental health and socioeconomic contributing factors to gun violence; create a fines and fees program for citizens who owe unpaid costs due to their inability to pay; introduce a Ban the Box Initiative; work with grassroots organizations on voter restoration/rights to register and educated formerly incarcerated individuals of their right to vote

Campaign: tate4birmingham.com

 

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