BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – William Parker, son of the late Council President, Maxine Herring Parker, was sworn in on Tuesday to represent District 4 on the Birmingham City Council, replacing his mother. He was sworn in by the Honorable Nyya Parson-Hudson, Birmingham Municipal Court Judge.
“We have had some trying times,” said Parker. “I want to thank the council for appointing me. We will be working very diligently to serve District 4.”
Parker is a graduate of Talladega College, a former legislative assistant and former Alabama State Representative. He represented most of District 4 in his former role as a state legislator. Parker will serve until the next election of any kind in which the voters of District 4 are qualified electors.
“I am happy to have William on the dais to continue his mother’s legacy. He has already done so much work on many of his mother’s projects and will serve the constituents in District 4 very well,” said newly elected Council President, Johnathan Austin.
Councilor Austin was elected at the start of Tuesday’s regular council meeting.
“I want to thank all the council members for their support in electing me the president of this body. I look forward to working with the entire council and the Mayor,” said Austin. “There is strength in unity. That is what we must continue as a body to exemplify.”
The city is in a wonderful position, with many new projects on the horizon, Austin said as he challenged council members to “Carpe diem – seize the day. This is what we must do at every opportunity.” Statement from Councilor Sheila Tyson on District 4 Appointment:
“I watched my community go more than 245 days without representation during the District 6 appointment process. So I truly understand the importance of filling the District 4 vacancy in a timely manner.”
“In the last two weeks, I’ve received several phone calls and emails from citizens inquiring about the process by which the District 4 seat would be filled. It’s clear to me that the residents of District 4
want to have a say in this decision. I can’t – in good conscience – make a vote that would deprive them of that opportunity.”
“I had a chance to speak with Mr. Parker, and I must applaud him for offering himself as a civil servant during this difficult time. There is no doubt in my mind that he is committed to fulfilling his mother’s legacy—so I want to be clear that my decision is not about the person, it’s about the process.”
“This Council has a responsibility to ensure the appointment process is open, fair, and transparent. We need to make our decision based on our best judgment of what the citizens of District 4 want, and what they need. To do that effectively will require some homework on our part.”
“My staff and I have drafted a proposed procedure to get the ball rolling on a process that would make sure Council vacancies are handled in a uniform, thoughtful, and expeditious manner. For far too long these appointments have been about the will of the Council, when they should be about the will of the people. Now we have an opportunity (to) improve the process.”
“It is my prayer that Councilor Parker would respect my position on this issue, and I hope the Council will take it up for further discussion in the appropriate forum.”
Statement from Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell on the Selection of Councilor Johnathan Austin as Birmingham City Council President
On Tuesday, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell released the following statement on the selection of Councilor Johnathan Austin as Birmingham’s new City Council President:
“I would like to extend a heartfelt congratulation to Birmingham City Councilor Johnathan Austin on being elected as the Council’s new President. Council President Austin is a remarkable and dynamic public servant who has a strong record of working to enhance the well-being of Birmingham’s residents. Through his work to expand Birmingham’s technological infrastructure, protect the local environment, increase the city’s bike lanes, and improve public health, Council President Austin has given our city much to be proud of. I know the City of Birmingham will be well-served under his leadership.”