Here is a listing of candidates for today’s runoff elections for Birmingham mayor, Birmingham City Council and Board of Education in the City Runoff elections. The winners begin a four year term on Oct. 24.
William A. Bell Sr.
Mayor William A. Bell Sr. has served the City of Birmingham as City Councilor and Council President for over 25 years. He finished with 14,011 votes, 36.55 percent, in the Aug. 22 municipal election. Bell was elected to a full term as Mayor of Birmingham, the largest city in the state of Alabama, in 2011. He was re-elected mayor again in 2013. Bell is responsible for the recently opened transportation facility built downtown, the multi-use Birmingham Intermodal Transit Facility. Since becoming the 33rd mayor of the largest city in Alabama, Bell has transformed the city by bringing back the Birmingham Barons baseball team, implementing various projects including a new Regions Field baseball facility, the Negro League Baseball Museum, Railroad Park, the Birmingham Crossplex, an international multi-use sports complex, the Uptown district including a four-star Westin Hotel with various shops and restaurants, expansion of the Summit shopping center, Grandview Hospital on 280, Barber Motorsports Facility, and is responsible for the revitalization and refurbishing of various neighborhood parks and recreational centers throughout the city. He is also responsible for Birmingham being named an All-America City. He has done more than any other mayor to make a cleaner and safer Birmingham by working with state legislators on the Land Bank Bill to eliminate abandoned houses and overgrown lots. In 1985 during his third term on the Council, he was elected to serve as the first African-American President of the Birmingham City Council. He was again chosen as president following the Birmingham City Council elections in 1987 and 1997. While serving as president, he was instrumental in implementing the consent agenda and designing the new council chamber which other local governments modeled and integrated into their city’s plans. Bell also worked with the Merchants of the Fourth Avenue Business District to transform that area into a productive business corridor so that blacks could purchase their own building where they worked each day.
Born and raised in Birmingham, Randall Woodfin is a product of Birmingham City Schools (K-8), Shades Valley High School, and Morehouse College, where he majored in political science and served as president of the Student Government Association. He finished with 15,656 votes, 40.84 percent, in the Aug. 22 municipal election. Woodfin went on to earn his law degree from Samford University, Cumberland School of Law. Upon graduating from law school, Woodfin served as a public servant working with the city’s Division of Youth Services, the Birmingham City Council and the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity (JCCEO). In 2009, Woodfin became an assistant city attorney for Birmingham. At the same time, Woodfin ran for a seat on the Birmingham City Schools Board of Education. His loss in his first run for office taught him more about the needs of students, parents, and also shaped his vision for what the schools and the city need. In 2013, Woodfin was not only successful in his second attempt to secure his seat on the school board, but he was also elected president, a role he served in from 2013-2015. In addition to his service as a board member for Birmingham City Schools, Woodfin also serves as a board member of other community-serving organizations, including the Alabama Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, and the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama. He is a former board member of Birmingham Change Fund, American Red Cross, Birmingham Education Foundation, Birmingham Cultural Alliance, S.T.A.I.R., and past President of Morehouse College Alumni Association, Birmingham Chapter. Woodfin is a graduate of Leadership Birmingham class of 2014, Leadership Alabama class of 2016 and served as featured speaker at TEDX Birmingham 2017.
Birmingham City Council
Kim Rafferty currently serves District 2 and works tirelessly to foster development and improvement within its neighborhoods. She finished with 664 votes, or 17.4 percent, in the Aug. 22 election. In her two terms in office, Rafferty was instrumental in the creation of the Birmingham Port Authority, Bank on Birmingham, the creation of a Floodplain Management plan for the Crestline and Eastwood neighborhoods, and the modernization of Birmingham’s Transportation Code. She has actively pursued cooperative projects with District 2 neighborhoods to improve citizen quality of life and to realize the potential of the district for future growth and development. Realizing that cooperation is the key to success, she is active in the Alabama League of Municipalities and the National League of Cities. Rafferty is mother of two children, Jessica and Morgen. Jessica served in the U.S. Marine Corps and Morgen is in the marching band for his school. Rafferty, a fourth-generation resident of the Roebuck Community, holds an associate degree in Human Resources from the University of Kentucky and a Bachelor’s Degree in History from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Hunter Williams, Birmingham native and small business owner, has resided in District 2 for almost a decade and during this time he has been actively involved in the community and a strong advocate for change and progress. He finished with 1,122 votes, or 29.4 percent, in the Aug. 22 municipal election. Williams serves as president of the Crestline Neighborhood Association. As president, he works with neighbors, community leaders and local residents to address the needs of the Crestline neighborhood and identify opportunities to improve commercial and community development. Williams founded and built from the ground up a business that provides medical support and surgical risk mitigation services to local hospitals. He also serves as a deputy sheriff with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office as a sergeant in the Reserve Unit’s Uniformed Patrol Division. Williams graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas with a bachelor’s degree in Finance before returning to Birmingham. He volunteers with community organizations across the city including Cornerstone Schools of Alabama, the Rotaract Club of Birmingham, the American Cancer Society, Ruffner Mountain, Alabama Police Benevolence Association and Independent Presbyterian Church.
Johnathan F. Austin
Johnathan F. Austin serves as president of the Birmingham City Council. He finished with 1,354 votes, or 31.5 percent, in the Aug. 22 municipal election. As the youngest person to hold the council president position in Birmingham’s history, Austin governs the largest municipality in Alabama with a $428 million operating budget. On the City Council, Austin has spearheaded efforts behind the passing of numerous city ordinances including the city’s Smoke Free Ordinance, which prohibits smoking in public facilities; the Booting/Towing Ordinance, which regulates predatory booting and towing practices; the changes in the city’s Transportation Network Companies (TNC) ordinance, paving the way for Uber to operate in Birmingham; the Kelyvn Felder Ordinance, an ordinance to regulate, among other things, the operation of certain classes of liquor-‐licensed establishments to reduce safety issues and the Texting While Driving Ban Ordinance, which prohibits the use of texting while operating a motor vehicle. Austin is a Birmingham native and prior to serving as a councilor was president of the Central City neighborhood and Northside Community Association. Austin is an honors graduate of Miles College. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and is studying law at the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University.
Darrell O’Quinn currently serves as president of the Citizens Advisory Board, which represents all of the city’s 99 neighborhoods. He finished with 1,104 votes, 26.58 percent, in the Aug. 22 municipal election. Working from his home neighborhood of Crestwood, he has been a tireless advocate of efforts to improve streets, parks and transportation in the city, and recently served as executive director of the Move I 20/59 effort to advocate alternatives to an interstate dividing Birmingham’s Downtown area. He served as longtime president of the North Crestwood neighborhood, is a member of the City of Birmingham Mayor’s Office Gentrification Taskforce, and is a co-founder of Heart to Table, a feeding project for the Boutwell Auditorium warming station. He holds doctorate degrees in veterinary medicine and pathology and is employed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. While O’Quinn supports efforts to attract major businesses to Birmingham, he recognizes that the quickest and most reliable way to promote commerce in the city is to create opportunities for small businesses in neighborhoods, where they provide badly needed jobs.
John Hilliard is a lifelong resident of Pratt City and a long time public servant. He finished with 1,071 votes, or 21.74 percent, in the Aug. 22 municipal election. Hilliard served in the Alabama State Legislature for 10 years and has been a representative on the State Democratic Executive Committee for over 20. He is a graduate of A.H. Parker High School and Alabama State University with a degree in Business Administration management. He has been a part of the Jefferson County Citizen’s Coalition and a number of other community organizations for many years. He also does a great deal of work with foster children and youth organizations. As councilor, Hilliard said he will be committed to keeping a constant, open line of communication. He will work to build relationships with the mayor, his colleagues on the Council, as well as neighborhood officers to move the city in the right direction. Hilliard believes everyone must be honest with one another and find ways to compromise to reach a shared vision, which is to make Birmingham a better place for all citizens. Hilliard’s top priorities are public safety, education, and economic development in neighborhoods.
Roderick V. Royal is a former Birmingham City Councilor who served as president of the Birmingham City Council. He finished with 1,522 votes in the Aug. 22 election, or 31 percent. Royal was born and raised in Birmingham and held elected office early in life, as student council president at Carrie A. Tuggle Elementary School. He went on to hold the same position at A. H. Parker High School. Royal then earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Tuskegee University and a master’s in public administration at Webster University in Saint Louis. He later completed a law enforcement program at the University of Alabama. Royal has served as a youth member of the Fountain Heights Neighborhood Association. He later was elected secretary of the East Thomas Neighborhood Association, serving two terms. Royal has been employed as a statewide coordinator for Job Corps, as an instructor at Miles College, as a police officer, and as an officer in the United States Army during Operation Desert Storm. Royal served for two months (November 2009-January 2010) as the 32nd Mayor of Birmingham, Alabama. Royal and his wife have three children.
Birmingham Board of Education
Douglas Lee Ragland
Douglas Lee Ragland retired as superintendent of the Midfield City School System in 2010 after 34 years in education in four school systems in Alabama. Ragland received 1,027 votes, 25.45 percent, in the Aug. 22 municipal election. During his career, he served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, personnel coordinator, hearing officer, and superintendent. Prior to being appointed superintendent of the Midfield City School System, Ragland served as superintendent in the Greene County School System from 2004-2007. He served in the Birmingham City School System as hearing officer supervisor (2003-04), personnel coordinator (1998-2003), assistant principal (1989-90), and teacher (1978-89). Ragland received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and University of Alabama where he was named the Most Outstanding Doctoral Student in Educational Leadership. He also holds bachelors, masters, and education specialist degrees, as well as Class A and AA Certifications, from UAB in Elementary Education and Educational Leadership. Ragland is married to the former Ms. Teresa Wiggins, and they reside in Birmingham.
Cedric Small, a resident of the Huffman community and product of Birmingham City and Jefferson County schools. He received 1,497 votes, 37.10 percent, in the Aug. 22 municipal election. He is a graduate of Samford University. He and his wife have been married for nine years and he is the father of four daughters. Small has volunteered and mentored at Huffman High School as well as with the World Changers and is the Senior Pastor of New Mt. Zion Baptist Church, where he has served the last five years. Small believes that planting small seeds in children’s education will lead to great change in their future. His plans are to develop creative ways to engage students, keep parents informed, equip educators and promote community involvement. He wants to work on behalf of the students and parents to ensure that the community supports the school system and plays a key role in promoting academic excellence.
Daagye Hendricks, represents District 4 on the Birmingham School Board and has a history of service to the civic and business community. Hendricks finished with 1,308 votes, 34.29 percent, in the Aug. 22 municipal election. She has worked for Wee Care Academy, a 25-year family business. Professionally, she serves children from ages 6 weeks through high school and mentors college students throughout the area. She currently works for the University of Alabama at Birmingham as a patient navigator. Hendricks received her bachelor’s degree in Business from Clark Atlanta University in Georgia and executive master’s in Business Administration from the University of Alabama. Hendricks is a founding member of the Birmingham Urban League Young Professionals group and is a member of the Birmingham Chapter of the Links, Inc. and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. She has a son Noah Harvill and is an active member of the PTA at Phillips Academy. Her motto is “All Children Can Succeed, Provided The Tools And Opportunities To Do So.” During her tenure as the District 4 representative, accreditation was restored for all 44 schools and District 4 reduced schools on the “failing list” by 50 percent.
Efforts to reach Edward Maddox for bio information were unsuccessful. Maddox finished the Aug. 22 election with 1,790 votes, 46.92 percent.
David T. McKinney
David T. McKinney said his focus is on the educational needs of children. McKinney finished with 628 votes, 15.4 percent, in the Aug. 22 municipal election. As an educator, his days are often spent talking about education and helping students. McKinney has been an educator in the Birmingham metro area for more than 10 years. He has taught Communication courses at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Miles College and Jefferson Sate Community College. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Troy University, master’s degree from UAB, and an educational specialist degree from the University of Alabama. He will soon complete his Ph.D. work in Educational Leadership in 2018 from the University of Alabama. McKinney decided to run for the seat because he believed he can make a difference in the lives of children by working to open a level of accountability with the community, putting policies in place that allow kids to have a safe learning environment, working to give teachers the support they need to educate our kids and addressing weak areas in schools by implementing programs and educational initiatives.
Michael “Mickey” Millsap
Mickey Millsap brings 20 years of experience in education, business and public service to the race. Millsap received 1,236 votes, 30.16 percent, in the Aug. 22 election. Millsap began his career as a corporate banking analyst at Bank of America, and then served on the staff of Democrat United States Senator Tom Daschle. In 2002, Millsap enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin to earn his master’s in Business Administration. In 2004, while a student at Texas, Millsap co-founded technology startup uShip.com with two of his classmates. He has spent the past six years in Alabama working as a public school teacher in Sumter County, Alabama (where he won educator of the year in 2011), a professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and founder of K12 Lean Labs, a nonprofit that works with educators who have innovative ideas about how to solve education problems. Millsap is married to Rebecca Millsap, a former special education instructor in the Louisiana public school system. They have a daughter, Maya, who will turn one right before Election Day.
Patricia Spigner McAdory grew up in the Powderly community and received her education in the Birmingham City School System including Powderly Elementary School and Jones Valley and Wenonah High Schools. McAdory accumulated 1,836 votes, 40.21 percent, in the Aug. 22 municipal election. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Miles College in 1978, her MED from Alabama State University in 1985 and her Certification as a Library Media Specialist from Alabama State University in 1993. McAdory is a retired educator with 32 years in Birmingham Schools, where she taught 16 years and served as a library media specialist. All three of her children were educated in the Birmingham City School System. Kena S. Byrd, E.D.; Rukeya McAdory McCullough, Esq. and Lindsey Noah McAdory, Jr., MBA, PMP. She is currently a member of Trinity A. M. E. Zion Church, where she serves as a member of the Dream Team and a member of the Women’s Home and Overseas Missionary Society. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and has served as the historian for the Omicron Omega Chapter.
Walter “Big Walt” Wilson
Walter “Big Walt” Wilson has a history of serving his community dating back to his teen years growing up in southwest Birmingham. He finished with 1,530 votes, 33.53 percent, in the Aug. 22 election. Wilson has over 20 years of service with Birmingham Public Works. He was appointed to serve as Wenonah High School’s Community-Parent Coordinator and has been a Wenonah basketball and football booster for over 20 years and was head junior varsity football coach for 14 years. Wilson was founding president of two of the city’s youth athletic programs — the Wenonah Young Dragons and the Roosevelt City Spartans. He has also coached Piper Davis, Police Athletic Teams, and Partners In Neighborhood Growth teams. Wilson is host of “Sunday Conversation with Big Walt” on WJLD, president of Community First Birmingham, president of the Southwest Alliance Association, and serves on the Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee. Wilson and his wife Brenda are Birmingham City School parents and the family attends Hopewell Baptist Church. If elected, Wilson said he will seek innovative funding opportunities for schools and build partnerships with colleges and businesses.
Patricia Bozeman-Henderson is the Job Readiness / G. E. D. Coordinator for the City of Birmingham Municipal Court. Bozeman-Henderson finished with 1,178 votes, 29.58 percent, in the Aug. 22 municipal election. She has over 20 years of Case Management experience. Bozeman-Henderson received an Associates of Applied Science in Social Work from Lawson State Community College with a concentration in Clinical Assessment and Case Management and Bachelors of Science in Criminal Law from Miles College with a concentration in Pre-Law and Psychology. She is a past vice-president of the Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Executive Board Member. She has volunteered in the area of Voters Outreach city wide and served on several state and local boards and committees. Among Bozeman-Henderson’s awards and recognitions are A.G. Gaston Boys and Girls Club Tutor and Mentor Service, Saint James Missionary Baptist Church Committee Chairwoman, Outstanding Citizen Service, Birmingham Citizen Humanitarian and N.A.A.C.P. Community Appreciation Service Award. Bozeman-Henderson has been married to Johnnie W. Henderson for 30 years and has three children, Monique Johnson, Seneathea and Johnnie Henderson III and two grandchildren.
Sonja Smith, a native of Birmingham, received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Birmingham-Southern College and continued her studies at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge where she earned a Master’s in Music (MM) with a concentration in Piano. Smith finished with 1,252 votes, 31.44 percent, in the Aug. 22 municipal election. After graduating from LSU, Smith moved to Chicago where she was a music and Freshman Seminar teacher at A.C.E. (Architecture, Construction, Engineering) Technical High School on the Southside of Chicago. Recognizing that freshmen girls needed additional support, Smith helped form GRACE, a girls’ group designed specifically for freshmen that focused on self-esteem, career opportunities, health issues, and an appreciation of the arts. Smith taught lecture classes in Music History/Music Appreciation and the applied arts class of Group Piano at Malcolm X College, a City College of Chicago. Upon her return to Birmingham, Smith continued teaching, but merged her passion for students with her love for tennis as the 10-and-Under-Coordinator for USTA Southern.