The Birmingham Times
Jefferson County Commissioner Lashunda Scales finished second in the 2021 Birmingham Mayor’s race with 7,625 votes or 20.77 percent. Randall Woodfin was re-elected to his second term with 23,616 votes or 64.33 percent. Here are excerpts of what Scales told supporters on election night at Michael’s in downtown Birmingham.
Scales: “For everyone that is here tonight, and to really celebrate the work that we were able to do as a campaign, I cannot say thank you enough for the beautiful people that I was blessed to have. It took a lot of work. We started from last year and came on into this year. We have people who were very committed, giving up their weekends, giving up days during the week, making sure that Birmingham [residents] understood that they needed better, that we not only deserve better, but as a taxpayer deserve better. Sometimes I think that when we allow ourselves over a period of time to experience a certain quality of living we have a tendency to believe that that’s all that we can have.
“We were fighting several things. One is that we knew that there were outside interests putting a lot of money into this election to really overshadow the voices of the people who live here in this city. We have now slipped into being the second largest city in the state of Alabama. At a time when we should be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the city is a no brainer we have become the second largest city in the state and I don’t think that that has resonated, how that’s going to come across when we start talking about federal and state dollars based upon population. So that’s 10 years we’re gonna have to live with that.
“And to make this more about a school initiative I knew that that would serve as a distraction because number one, any school initiative should be embraced and appreciated. What we will not do and I’ll never believe in this, is take away the monies from the entire school system. So, I want to be clear on that, it never was about an initiative of the city. It was all about making sure that every child from kindergarten to 12th grade, had a realistic opportunity to become a person that we know can be a productive member of society . . . I am passionate about people. I love people, it gives me even more of a reason and a clarity that the people of Birmingham we have got to educate ourselves on the governmental process. We have got to stop settling for photo ops and start looking at the real issues, what they are and roll up our sleeves to get it done.
“It is a wonderful opportunity for me to come out here tonight . . . whatever the outcome is, I’m good. And I want you to be good . . . you were never helping a candidate. You were sowing into a vision that Birmingham should stand for better and regardless of the outcome I’m going to continue to tell Birmingham ‘you deserve better. We can have better.’ And for those who just believe that if we just get that one thing in mind I believe that we’re going to be extremely successful. So God bless you, continue to enjoy your night but as we will get into numbers I was telling everybody, come on, we can’t be disrespectful, We want to make sure that we’re still going out and talking to folks, until we get these numbers in okay, but I say God bless you and I love you as Maya Angelou says, ‘But still, like dust, I’ll rise’. God bless you.
Quotes compiled by staff writer Haley Wilson