BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The election for Birmingham Mayor and City Council is quickly approaching. One organization held a public forum on Saturday to allow those running for council districts to share their goals if they are elected.
Alabama Working Families held the event Saturday at Kelly Ingram Park. Seven of the candidates running in the upcoming election came out to the event. Many of them shared their views on how they plan to improve their districts in the community.
“I am here because I am offering myself again to serve the people of district five,” said Darrell O’Quinn, City Council Member District 5.
“We need proactive leadership, we need prepared leadership, and we need leadership that will lead to make things better for our community,” said Eric Hall, City Council candidate running for District 9.
Topics around helping small businesses bounce back from the pandemic were popular.
“We need to activate them to support existing black-owned businesses instead of channeling our incentives to already billion-dollar corporations that we don’t have to plead to because we can have community-based cafes with urban chefs and urban farmers that are right in our district,” said Celida Soto, City Council candidate running for District 8.
Other topics included ways to improve transportation throughout the city.
“Birmingham On-Demand Project powered by via anywhere in the service area which is about seven square miles. You can get a ride for about a $1.25 and they to come to you when you want the ride,” said O’Quinn.
The uptick in gun violence was also a major discussion at the forum.
“One thing I would like to see is definitely us hiring more mental heal workers that are separate from the Birmingham Police Department and these individuals would be responsible for making sure our communities are whole and making sure our communities feel safe,” said Hall.
“Addressing poverty, addressing a lack of resources that demonstrate that we excellent human beings and that we require at least the basic structures but more than that,” said Soto.
Alabama Working Families say they plan to continue these forums as we approach the general election on August 24.