Mayor Randall Woodfin had a message of progress during his first 100 days address Thursday night.
After talking to those who live in the city, Mayor Woodfin and his transition team talked about what they learned and their plans moving forward.
The transition team was split into 5 categories, with each having two co-chairs.Those committees covered neighborhood revitalization, crime, education, jobs, and poverty. Each committee presented ideas to Mayor Woodfin at the address.
The neighborhood revitalization team expressed concerns about the rate at which structures are being demolished versus the rate of building new structures.
“Roughly 1700 homes have been demolished and only 400 structure built. So that’s a 4 to 1 ratio of demolitions in housing production which is not sustainable,” said Herschell Hamilton, co-chair of the neighborhood revitalization and public safety committee.
Dr. Lisa Herring, superintendent of Birmingham City Schools, also spoke on early childhood education.
“Research shows us that it is our responsibility to start early, that if we do that well, we can ensure our pre-k kids are ready for kindergarten,” said Dr. Herring.
Other topics included job creation, reducing poverty, and improving north Birmingham.
“We believe the growth and the momentum the city has seen is important. There are too many people that are still hurting, too many people that haven’t felt the opportunities in their neighborhoods,” said Josh Carpenter, co-chair of the entrepreneurship and economic development committee.
Mayor Woodfin expressed a commitment to providing great service to the residents of Birmingham.
“We’ve been doing things the same way for 30-40 plus years and they may not necessarily be working for us as it relates to how we can and should be delivering services to you,” Mayor Woodfin said. “So we got to do some things, some heavy lifting.”
Woodfin’s message seemed to resonate with those in the crowd.
“For him to basically just kind of let his heart out a little bit tonight, I think it was pretty important,” said Joshua Raby who attended the address. “Some of the projects and things that are coming up soon will be very beneficial for the city.”
The mayor reiterated his “people first” agenda.
“You heard me before talking about putting people first, and that’s something I want you to hold me accountable towards,” said Mayor Woodfin.
The next step is to bring the ideas presented by the committees to the city council to see what they can do financially.