Randall Woodfin announced an endorsement from the Birmingham Professional Firefighters Association for his bid in the August 22nd Birmingham Mayoral election.
The endorsement comes on the heels of Woodfin’s open letter in the Birmingham Times that highlights sensible approaches for City Hall to improve morale in Birmingham city employees, including public works, firefighters and police officers.
“Every day, I am inspired by the courage of our first responders. Sadly, William Bell has failed to treat these brave men and women like the true heroes they are,” stated Woodfin. “Experienced employees should be rewarded for their commitment and years of service to our city. As mayor, I would restore annual cost-of-living salary adjustments and longevity pay for Birmingham Police and Fire & Rescue personnel — a policy Bell abandoned.”
In January 2017, the demoralizing living conditions inside many Birmingham fire stations became public. According to WIAT, some City Council members said “city leadership has been acting like ‘deadbeat landlords’ when it comes to the conditions of several buildings that serve as Birmingham Fire and Rescue stations.”
“As a career professional firefighter, I can understand and appreciate why the Birmingham Professional Firefighters Association is endorsing Randall Woodfin for Mayor,” said Raymond Brooks, retired Birmingham Fire Chief and current Chairman for the Randall Woodfin for Mayor Campaign. “First responders have an intimate knowledge of what Birmingham residents have to deal with in their homes, on their streets and throughout their neighborhoods. In my opinion, firefighters are highly qualified to know what our city needs from its next mayor.”
Pay for city employees has remained stagnant for several yearsduring William Bell’s tenure as mayor. His recent budget proposal only calls for a 5 percent employee merit raise and 1 percent cost of living increase for city employees. Additionally, the proposal failed to include longevity pay – a critical tool for retaining experienced employees and attracting new employees.
Woodfin’s agenda for city employees is gaining momentum locally and drawing national support. The campaign recently received the endorsement of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch #530 in Birmingham. And in May, Woodfin received a prominent endorsement from Our Revolution which is led by respected progressive activists such as former NAACP President Ben Jealous and Larry Cohen, the former president of the Communications Workers of America.