A city that has been around for over 200 years, Montgomery, Alabama has JUST elected the first Black Mayor in its history. As you may or may not recall, Montgomery was the first capital of the Confederacy and also is where the Civil Right Movement was birthed. A city that has a storied past with racism seemed to take a step in the right direction on yesterday evening, electing Steven Reed to the mayoral office.
Reed, a county probate judge secured 67% of the vote in a runoff election against David Woods, a local TV station owner. Reed won by more than 16,000 votes. Mayor-elect Reed was born and raised in Montgomery, after graduating from Morehouse College, he came back home and in 2012 he became the city's youngest AND the first Black probate judge in Montgomery County. In 2015, Reed became the first probate judge to issue a same-sex marriage license. Reed is following in his dad's footsteps, who is a politician himself. His dad, Joe Reed is a politician in the area that has served as the chair of the Alabama Democratic Conference for several years. His dad also made history by becoming one of the first three Black elected officials in 1975.
During his victory speech last night, the 45-year old Reed said, “This election has never been about just my ideas. It’s been about all of the hopes and dreams that we have as individuals and collectively in this city and the way we found the opportunity to improve outcomes regardless of neighborhood, regardless of zip code, regardless of anything that may divide us or make us different from one another.”
Last night, Reed was not the only Black man making history as the first Black elected mayor in an Alabama city. On Tuesday night, Talladega also elected fellow Black man, Timothy Ragland to their mayoral seat. While this is great history and amazing news, Montgomery stands out due to the city's well documented history with events such as The Bus Boycott, led by Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr. preaching at Dexter Avenue Baptists church, and it is also the city where Jefferson Davis, former confederate president took his oath of office.
Congrats Mayor-elect Steven Reed!!! Since we now have a seat at the table, we are anxiously waiting to see how you help our people in the city of Montgomery.