(BBR) Birmingham, Alabama - Mayor Randall Woodfin is a son of Birmingham, Alabama.
And Birmingham knows about making history.
The third of four children, Woodfin grew up in the city's North Birmingham neighborhood. It was during his formative years that his love for community grew – a love that blossomed into politics and activism at Morehouse College. It was there where Woodfin became acquainted with his personal mantra, servant leadership.
After college, he returned to Birmingham with renewed vigor and the motivation to make his community stronger. In addition to community work, he earned a law degree from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law. He became deeply invested with the people of Birmingham, collaborated with lawmakers and even traveled across the region's Black Belt to hear the stories of those residents.
Woodfin came to this conclusion – Birmingham deserved better.
After serving as president of the Birmingham Board of Education, Woodfin set his sights on the mayor's office in 2017. His challenger was formidable, a political veteran with decades of experience and connections.
But Woodfin was used to being an underdog. And he was ready to be a servant leader. He canvassed communities, knocking on 50,000 doors and making 45,000 phone calls to families across the city. It was grassroots campaigning at its finest, and it resonated with voters.
Woodfin knew his city. He knew how to speak their language. And when he was inaugurated as mayor in November 2017 – the youngest in the city's history – he was ready to take his servant leadership to the next level.
Today, he’s doing just that.
He’s implemented a multi-pronged public safety and crime-fighting plan; implemented a customer service program to improve relations with the public and boost employee morale; increased the city’s messages through various media and social media platforms; and hired a team of talented people to focus on workforce development, small business growth and civic innovation. Already, major organizations and companies are working with the mayor and city. These companies have identified Birmingham as a city on the move, both for its talent and its focus on innovation.
Just in the last few months, Mayor Woodfin:
- Visited Silicon Valley to pick up an award for Birmingham being named a Smart City
- Welcomed AOL co-founder Steve Case and his Rise of the Rest national tour to Birmingham to award $100,000 to an outstanding Birmingham-area startup
- Teamed up with Birmingham City Schools and Lawson State Community College to launch Birmingham Can Code, an initiative that uses curriculum from Apple to equip students with the tech skills necessary to be competitive in an increasingly digital world
- Was named as one of nine leaders from across the country to join NewDEAL, a network of state and national leaders who seek pro-growth progressive solutions in communities nationwide.
All of these efforts underscore the mayor’s interest in building a local ecosystem for entrepreneurs and companies to thrive.
Outside of business and education, there’s also a growing entertainment scene in Birmingham.
In 2021, Birmingham will host the World Games, which will attract 4,500 athletes and officials from 100 countries. By the time the World Games arrive, the city will have a brand new 55,000-seat stadium near its downtown entertainment district. Along with stadium construction will be renovations to the BJCC and the Legacy Arena. The project is also designed to help generate funding to improve the city’s 99 neighborhoods. All of these changes will give the city another leg up in vying for major events, attracting out-of-town visitors and pushing venue offerings to the next level.
Birmingham is and has always been a city for builders, from steel mills to startups. Mayor Woodfin is working to put Birmingham in a position to be a magnet for the next generation of purpose-driven builders interested in spurring innovation and catalyzing entrepreneurship to achieve community-wide success.