Our New Mayor?

By on 7 August, 2019 in City Living, Government, Kate and Stephen with 0 Comments

We moved here after the great recession of 2008, when homemade Obama shirts sold on our local street corners pointed to the ways that hope could merge with electoral politics for epochal effects. But Alabama’s voting public sometimes takes a while to register and reflect changing times. So although there have been rumblings since we bought this old house, our city leadership has basically remained the same. Sure, our city council member, Martha Roby, went to Congress (and is now leaving), but Mayor Strange has been in charge here for as long as we’ve been paying our vastly undersized property tax bill.

That’s about to change at the end of this month. Strange is on to other non-mayoral things, and there are (depending on who you ask and what day it is) about a dozen folks vying to replace him on August 27. We’re not going to survey all the candidates here. First of all, several of these would-be city administrators don’t have websites, or easily available biographical information. Put more bluntly, many of the people running don’t really seem to have a chance.

We’re not trying to pick winners, just trying to be real about this. As far as we can tell there, are maybe six candidates who seem like they might be in the top tier to replace Mayor Strange. Those include:

And then there are a host of others, including folks who are “Montgomery famous” for things like administering Facebook groups or singing soul music.

We’re not here to endorse any candidate. But we are here to endorse civic participation, and it’s pretty cool that the next week will bring two mayoral candidate forums that will be open to everyone:

  • Saturday, August 10 at 10 a.m., Alabama Appleseed and Hometown action are sponsoring a forum they’re calling “The Job Interview” at the Sanctuary. It’s scheduled to run till 2, with candidates appearing before a panel one at a time. That’s a long time to be at an event that stretches across the lunch hour, but it’s a solid concept, and we’re likely to check it out.
  • Then on Wednesday the 14th, the League of Women Voters of Alabama will sponsor a forum co-hosted by WSFA and Troy University at the Davis Theater. This one will be televised live on WSFA from 8-10, and it’s going to be a more traditional format, with candidates all appearing on stage at the same time. It’s a forum, and not a debate, but it’s probably safe to expect some clashes of ideas and personalities.
  • The election is August 27.

Selecting our next mayor is a big deal. Montgomery may well be poised for transformation. The city has very real issues. We’ve never had an African-American mayor. It’s particularly significant that this is the first election in recent memory when there hasn’t been an incumbent, with all of the field of candidates bringing diverse views and backgrounds to writing this next chapter in our city’s history. Whether that’s a good or bad change will depend a lot on the person we elect to our top office.

Here’s hoping that folks get out to see the public events and really engage on the issues.

Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with two cats, a dog, fifteen fish, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery.




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