BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — On Tuesday, Birmingham City Council member John Hilliard will face challenger Latonya Tate for the District 9 seat in Birmingham’s runoff where voters will make the final decision.
In August, Hilliard received 49% of the vote in the district while Tate received 29% of the votes making the runoff necessary.
“The goal for me was to get out there and make myself known, you know, to the people who didn’t know me to get to know me, so we have not let off of the breaks we campaigned and knocked on over 6,000 doors and we are right back out there again,” Tate said.
“The runoff means, to me, is showing people what I have done, I say judge me by my work and my report card, judge me by the things that I have done in my district,” Hilliard said.
Hilliard was first elected in 2017. He said the past four years he’s focused on improving transportation and economic development.
“If you look round Birmingham and you see the Birmingham transportation on demand, that’s something that myself and Councilor O’Quinn collaborated on. I’ve thought about the things we’ve done along the Daniel pan corridor bringing more industrial business and bringing more jobs,” he said.
Tate said that unlike her opponent, she plans to bring a new perspective to the table when addressing blight and bringing new families to the area.
“Putting some ordinances in place on people that own these abandon homes having something to hold them accountable. Getting more rooftops because more rooftops you have in the district it will drive the economy,” Tate said.
Each candidate has emphasized the need for growth in their community, but the most important thing they say is getting the crime under control.
“I talked with the chief of police, and I want to do more prevention programs with our children. I want to focus on crime on the front end by getting our children busy and involved with community activities,” said Hilliard.
“What kind of solutions can we come up with to address crime like getting more grassroots people involved and working with initiatives that have proven to work across the country like peacemakers,” said Tate.
There’s also another city council runoff in district four. Birmingham City Council President William Parker faces a runoff with challenger J.T. Moore. Polls will open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday.