Randall Woodfin, a 36-year-old former Birmingham school board member, was inaugurated Tuesday as the city’s 30th mayor. Hundreds looked on from Linn Park as Woodfin took the oath of office. He defeated William Bell in a runoff on Oct. 3. The celebration continued with a reception including the mayor and City Council at the Birmingham Museum of Art.
Here’s a glance at the event:
Who was on stage
Woodfin was joined on stage by his parents, siblings, senior staff members and city council members. Former mayors Richard Arrington and Bernard Kincaid were seated in the front row, along with nationally syndicated commentator Jeff Johnson, who supported Woodfin throughout the campaign. U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell was also on stage. Former Mayor William Bell did not attend, but Woodfin acknowledged him in his comments.
The Rev. John Cantelow III, Woodfin’s pastor at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church, offered the opening prayer and benediction. The Rev. John Cox from the Church Without Walls in Houston, Texas gave the invocation. Cox was one of Woodfin’s college roommates at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Cox’s father gave the invocation in 1979 when Richard Arrington was inaugurated as mayor.
Who was in the VIP seats
Woodfin is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Dozens of his brothers worked in this campaign and were on hand wearing black and gold ties Tuesday. The Jefferson County Commission members, judges and other county officials were also seated in the white chairs reserved for special guests. Morehouse president, Harold Martin Jr. and the alumni director, Henry M. Goodgame, one of of Woodfin’s mentors, came from Atlanta for the inauguration.
Speech themes: unity and transparency
Woodfin said he will work with the council because that’s what residents want.
“We will work together to build a stronger city, a safer city, a more just city – not because it’s practical, but because the 10 of us believe it is the right thing to do,” Woodfin said.