Read Time 3 Minutes
He’s served in the Alabama State Legislature for 10 years and has “grown businesses in real estate and bail bonding.” This week we’re featuring an interview with a second District 9 city council candidate: John Hilliard.
Your current councilor is Marcus Lundy. He is not seeking re-election.
Lundy represents these communities and neighbhorhoods:
In the North Birmingham community: Acipco-Finley, Fairmont, Harriman Park, Hooper City, North Pratt and North Birmingham neighborhoods.
In the Pratt community: Central Pratt, Sandusky, Smithfield Estates, South Pratt and Thomas neighborhoods.
In the Ensley community: Dolomite, Ensley, Oak Ridge, Sherman Heights, Tuxedo and Wylam neighborhoods.
In the Smithfield community: East Thomas and Enon Ridge.
The city municipal elections are scheduled for August 22, but candidates are already making their rounds. Qualifying for the race begins on June 23rd and ends July 7th.
Please check out all of our weekly interviews featuring the city council and mayoral candidates here at Bham Now. We post them every week! It’s a great way to get involved with the upcoming city elections, and we hope you find them informative and helpful. Any questions or comments about these posts can be directed to me via a FB message @bhamnow.
When did you officially announce your candidacy and where/how did you do it?
“I announced my candidacy on April 6 in downtown Ensley at Ensley Soho with family and friends. Since then, our team has been reaching out to voters every single day.”
What is the name of your principal campaign committee?
“Our principal campaign committee is called Hilliard for City Council District 9.”
Why do you want to run for Birmingham City Council?
“I’m running because I really see a need to strengthen communications between our neighborhoods and city hall. I spent 10 years serving this same community in the Alabama State Legislature, and if you look at my record you’ll see that I’ve always been the type of elected official that is out in the streets being accountable to the people. That’s what we need at city hall right now—someone who is going to fight for our neighborhoods.
“The people of District 9 want to see abandoned homes torn down and overgrown lots cut. They want to see meaningful, neighborhood-based economic development. Birmingham is a 74 percent black city, and one of my top priorities is going to be making sure we’re doing everything we can to grow and support our locally-owned, black businesses. They should be the ones receiving the contracts to do work in our city and incentives to expand their businesses.”
More Questions And Answers
What is your background, education and experience?
“I had the honor of serving in the Alabama State Legislature for 10 years. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to grow some successful businesses in real estate and bail bonding. I’m not running because I need something to do, I’m running because I really see a need in the community. The people of District 9 know me and I know them, and we really need that level of trust and communication to come back to city hall.
“I’ve served on the State Democratic Executive Committee for 20 years and served as a delegate to two presidential conventions. I’ve been a part of the Jefferson County Citizens’ Coalition and a number of other community organizations for years. I also work with foster children. I am a graduate of A.H. Parker High School, and I also graduated from Alabama State University with a degree in business administration management.”
How will you foster a healthy, working relationship between the mayor’s office and the Birmingham City Council/city hall?
“My strategy has always been to have a constant, open line of communication. Building relationships with the mayor, my colleagues on the council, as well as the neighborhood officers is essential to getting the job done and moving our city in the right direction. We have to be honest with one another and find ways to compromise so that we can all reach our shared vision, which is to make Birmingham a better place to live for all our citizens.”
How will you accomplish transparency with the residents of Birmingham, if elected?
“Honesty is key. I’m going to be the type of councilor that visits neighborhood meetings and churches in the district throughout my term, not just at election time. I will be accessible to the people and make sure they know exactly what’s going on with their taxpayer dollars.”