History Made: Steven Reed, Elected First African American Mayor in Montgomery, Alabama

by Raheem Karim
Steven Reed African American Mayor of Montgomery

Steven Reed African American Mayor of Montgomery

Steven Reed Is Elected The First African American Mayor of Montgomery, Alabama

It was history in the making last night in Montgomery, Alabama. Steven Reed, the Montgomery County probate judge, on Tuesday beat television station owner David Woods in a runoff election to become Montgomery’s first African American Mayor.

Alabama’s capital of Montgomery and the birthplace of the civil rights movement has never had a black mayor in its 200 year history. Montgomery is the first capital of the Confederacy early in the Civil War, and many streets and schools still bear Confederate names as reminders of its terrible history Montgomery also has a ugly past with its treatment of African Americans with police brutality and more than 4,000 lynchings.

Montgomery later became the site of Rosa Parks’ famed bus boycott in 1955 and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dexter Avenue Baptist church, as well as the destination of the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery protest marches that were met with brutal police violence and led to the Voting Rights Act.

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Sixty percent of Montgomery’s roughly 200,000 residents are black or African-American, according to the US Census.

Steven Reed dominated gaining 32,918 votes to David Woods’ 16,010 votes with 47 precincts of 47 precincts, according to incomplete, unofficial returns. The race was called in Steven Reed’s favor around 10:47 pm last night.

Steven Reed was born and raised in Montgomery, spoke to supporters in a victor speech,

“This election has never been about me,” Reed said in his victory speech. “This election has never been about just my ideas. It’s been about all the hopes and dreams we have as individuals and collectively in this city.”

Steven Reed was also s the first African American elected as the county’s probate judge in 2012 plans big changes for the city. Some the issues he ran on was investing in education suggesting an ad valorem tax that would increase the millage rate for public education funds. He also mentioned a full day, universal pre-K program. The program would guarantee children a spot regardless of their family’s income as early childhood education can be expensive for low-income families.

Steven Reed will be sworn into office Nov. 12 at Montgomery City Hall.

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