BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — With Tuesday marking the official launch of Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin’s second term in office, we’re now getting a better idea of what residents want to see more of and what to expect moving forward.
During his inauguration speech, Woodfin said the first four years were about laying the foundation – cleaning up neighborhoods. Moving forward, he said the focus is investing in infrastructure and educating the youth, who will be our next leaders.
“All of us have the same obligations to Birmingham,” Woodfin said. “I think it’s important we get busy doing the things that must be done to secure Birmingham’s future, a future of greater opportunity.”
Birmingham residents have faith in Woodfin and his plan.
“I think he has his hand on the problems now, he’s just trying to execute and I know he has a plan that I know he has worked on,” said Birmingham resident Chris Rice. “He’s going to be transparent with it and he’s going to move forward.”
That transparency was echoed by Councilman Clinton Woods when he spoke to CBS 42’s Sherri Jackson Tuesday.
“We’re in a position to be incredibly transformative as a unit, and I think that is the spirit of everything we’re hearing from the mayor,” Woods said.
Transparency is something the community said it would like to see more of.
“I think that’s one of the things we could always do better and that’s being receptive to what the public is saying and correcting those things,” Woods said. “It’s really listening. If people are saying they need more transparency, that they’re not getting enough clarity on this or that, then I think it’s on us to make sure we correct those things.”
Other residents like Sharifa Wip would like to see more programs like Birmingham Promise to helping to lift the financial burden on students. Wip has a peer mentoring group for Black men at UAB called the Blazer Male Excellence Network (BMEN).
“Not having to struggle to fill that gap between their financial aid has allowed them to be able to participate in school programming instead of having to run off and go to work,” said Wip.
Woodfin said he is asking everyone in the community for their individual contribution to the city’s future.
“We can achieve greatness together, but only together,” Woodfin said.
According to Woodfin, the final component of the city’s future is you, by putting people first once more.