Why I’m Running For Mayor
My heart beats for the Magic City. Here I have been nurtured and raised from boyhood, through youth, to the man that I am.
I am running for Mayor to revitalize the way politics work in Birmingham. Our city is stifled by a tradition of leadership that lacks a collaborative spirit, a commitment to hard work on behalf of the people, and a sense of urgency to improve the quality of life for citizens in every neighborhood.
Every time I read the news of another senseless homicide, I think of my own brother who was murdered here in 2012. Whenever I learn of a spike in substance abuse, I think of my favorite aunt who battled drug addiction her entire adult life. In my work I see too many cases of domestic and community violence, and a deafening code of silence all too common among our victims.
As a lifelong Birmingham citizen, I witness the city’s challenges firsthand. I also see Birmingham’s potential. We have some of the best and brightest students and educators in the nation. Our historic communities rival some of the most charming destinations in the South. Our economy is strong and with a plan for our city’s neighborhoods, progress can be extended well beyond our city center. With vision, optimism, and determination – believing and working together – Birmingham can be the and dynamic community, the City of Steel it was built and meant to be.
It is time the leadership of Birmingham is no longer tied to deep-rooted cronyism and favoritism. It is time for us to remember and honor the legacy of the heroic people of Birmingham and rise up to overcome again. If we unite, we can win together.
I am confident that there can be a shift in political climate that brings about the change Birmingham needs and has long awaited. With servant leadership in politics, corporate responsibility, civic engagement, and philanthropic investment – communities can be strengthened, schools can be supported, and businesses can be expanded.
Birmingham can become the progressive and dynamic city we all know it can be. For this to happen we must hold elected officials accountable and be willing to organize and speak up when those officials fail to fulfill their commitments. We must stay engaged at the neighborhood level and ensure all our voices are heard by voting at the polls in local elections just as we do for presidential elections.
Being Mayor means being a believer in the success of our city and a fighter for all the people in Birmingham. It means not only having a vision but sharing that vision. It means not only making plans but following through with those plans. Being Mayor is more than a notion. It takes heart, commitment, and a willingness to work hard with and for the people of Birmingham to make the magic of our city come alive.
The people of Birmingham deserve leadership that puts them first. Together we can make this city bright again – the dynamic beacon of this great state that it was built to be, and the central city of the South that it should be.
I am not a former mayor, city councilman, county commissioner, or the son of a wealthy, well-connected family. I am a protector and promoter of Birmingham, an advocate for education, a servant to the marginalized, and an organizer for change. I recognize Birmingham’s challenges and believe in the power of to transform our city.
I understand that the issues of crime and safety and joblessness do not exist in a vacuum. We must support our schools and give our students hope and skills for a brighter future, prepare our youth for college and jobs, and offer our young adults opportunities to become productive citizens. And we must do this not just in the City Center but also in the other 98 neighborhoods surrounding the Mayor’s Office.
City Hall must be transparent. Citizens must hold government officials accountable. City employees must be heard. Business owners must have a voice. Public transportation users must have their concerns addressed. Tax dollars must be accounted for and the people must have input on spending.
I don’t and won’t pretend to have all the answers. What I do have is a heart for the people of Birmingham, a collaborative spirit, a commitment to , and a strong belief that together we can create a new era of growth and prosperity in Birmingham- it begins with us.