Birmingham Mayor-elect Randall Woodfin Announces Plans For Inaugural Festivities

Times Staff Report

Mayor-elect Randall Woodfin (center) prepares to take office Nov. 28 with a noon swearing-in ceremony at Linn Park. He is flanked by transition team co-chairs Bobbie Knight (left) and Gen. Charles Krulak. (Nick Patterson, The Birmingham Times)

The Randall Woodfin Administration will officially begin on Tuesday, Nov. 28, with a noon swearing-in ceremony in Linn Park followed later by a “green-carpet” community reception at 5:30 p.m. held in conjunction with the Birmingham City Council.

“The citizens I have met over the past year know I am not a red-carpet kind of guy,” Woodfin said. “Along with the Birmingham City Council, we are hosting a green-carpet community reception to recognize all of the thousands of people who worked at the grassroots level to make our election a reality. We want this to be a festive evening for all of Birmingham to celebrate.”

Inaugural events begin on Sunday, Nov. 26, with a day of service from 2-5 p.m.  Church groups, community organizations, nonprofits and other groups are encouraged to identify ways they can support this day of service which will culminate with a prayer service from 5:30-7 p.m.

“We want to instill a renewed belief in public service to our city.  That goes beyond City Hall,” Woodfin said. “It means each of us supporting our neighbors, friends, family members and those who simply need a helping hand.  We want this to be a time when our citizens can come together and celebrate this special time, but also work together as a community.”

The inauguration is the culmination of more than a year of hard work “by many, many people across our city who joined together to win this important election,” Woodfin said. “Whether they knocked on doors, made phone calls or just went out to vote, they made a difference in the outcome of the election, and now it is up to us to honor their support with an administration that is focused on improving all of our neighborhoods, educational and economic opportunities, public safety and other issues important to our great city.”

Woodfin, 36, the youngest elected mayor in Birmingham in more than 100 years, defeated incumbent William Bell in an Oct. 3 runoff, capping a fractious mayoral election that began with 12 candidates running for the city’s chief executive.

The Committees

At a press conference at Vulcan Park and Museum on Oct. 10, Woodfin named Gen. Charles Krulak, the retired Marine Corps commandant and former president of Birmingham-Southern College, and Bobbie Knight, who retired last year as a vice president in Alabama Power’s Birmingham division as co-chairs of his transition team. Woodfin also named his campaign manager, Ed Fields, as transition coordinator.

On Oct. 24, Woodfin announced six co-chairs of citizen-led committees which he said would be instrumental in moving the city forward to “its full potential.”

Woodfin, during a press conference at the Negro Southern League Museum in the Parkside district, named two co-chairs each for committees dedicated to Neighborhood Revitalization and Public Safety, Social Justice and Transparency and Efficient Government.

He named:

  • BLOC Global managing partner Herschell Hamilton, and Birmingham Police Detective Ralph Patterson to the Neighborhood Revitalization committee.
  • Physician and educator Dr. Nancy Dunlap and attorney Richard Rice to the Social Justice Committee
  • Daniel Coleman, a lecturer at Birmingham-Southern, and business owner Annie Allen to the Transparency and Efficient Government committee.

On Oct.30, Woodfin announced co-chairs of his Education and Workforce Development and Economic Development and Entrepreneurship committees at the Alabama Workforce Training Center.

He announced that Dr. Perry Ward, the president of Lawson State Community College and Fred McCallum, the former president of AT&T Alabama, would co-chair the Education and Workforce Development Committee.

To co-chair the Economic Development and Entrepreneurship Committee, Woodfin named Renasant Bank Executive Vice President Tracey Morant Adams, and UAB Director of External Affairs Josh Carpenter.

Krulak said that the Woodfin administration could mark a turning point for a city which has “made great strides since the 1960s. It’s gone from a beacon of civil rights to a beacon of human rights to a revitalization of our downtown that we see today,” he said. “At the same time, we can’t turn a blind eye to the problems that continue to exist. Neighborhoods that need revitalization, an education system that needs increased attention and support, concerns about regulations and bureaucracy and their impact on growth opportunities… Birmingham now stands at an inflection point and we need to take advantage of it.”