Birmingham, Alabama mayoral candidate interview: Philemon Hill

Are you ready to get acquainted with another Birmingham mayoral candidate?  This is the third one in my series, and it features Philemon Hill. Let’s get to know him, Birmingham.

My last one featured Randall Woodfin, and I am still reaching out to those interested in running for mayor and city council. If you’d like to get in touch with me about an interview that features a mayoral or city council candidate, please message @bhamnow on Facebook.

Although the Jefferson County Election Commission has until June 23 to officially call the upcoming Birmingham municipal election set for August 22, potential candidates are already blazing their own campaign trails. It’s never to soon to talk about leadership in the Magic City.

I like to consider this first interview a formal introduction to Bham Nowers. After I’ve interviewed all the candidates, I’ll be reaching out to all of them on a periodic basis to ask them how they would respond to city and community issues that are important to you.

Each potential candidate was emailed the same questions, and I’m meeting with each of them in person.

After the election has been called, they must each qualify in the Judge of Probate Office of Jefferson County.

Alright, it’s Philemon Hill’s turn. His interview is below:

Via Ervin Philemon Hill

When did you officially announce your candidacy and where/how did you do it?
The Ervin Philemon Hill II mayoral campaign was launched December 11, 2016 at the Historic Carver Theatre.

Two interviewers posed questions about my family, upbringing in Birmingham, educational background, goals, and campaign platform. Then I fielded questions from the audience. This event was broadcast via Facebook Live, and there were over 1600 views a week later.

What is the name of your principle campaign committee?
Committee to Elect Philemon Hill

Why do you want to run for mayor of Birmingham?
Birmingham is on the cusp of becoming an extraordinary place to live, work, serve, raise a family, launch a business and pursue an education. Without a doubt, there has been tremendous recent growth and development, and these are exciting times for our city. But, more must be done to address widespread poverty, crime, homelessness and a failing school system. As mayor, I will work to ensure that all 99 neighborhoods benefit from Birmingham’s resurgence.

What is your background, education and experience?
Refer to the campaign flyer for background, education, and professional experience. (Editor’s note: It’s below)

Via Ervin Philemon Hill

What are the top three issues Birmingham is facing as a community, and how do you intend to address them?

  1. No effective crime-reduction plan or comprehensive community revitalization plan
  2. Lack of fiscal transparency by elected officials
  3. Failing school systemRefer to the campaign flyer for an outline of my campaign platform. More information, details and solutions will be provided at a later date during the campaign.

How will you foster a healthy, working relationship between the mayor’s office and the Birmingham City Council/City Hall?
I will work with the city council and state lawmakers in an effort to create balance, fairness and reform to the Mayor-Council Act. Also, an effort to re-establish trust between the mayor’s office and city council, is hosting professional development and team-building events for the mayor’s office and the city council.

How will you accomplish transparency with the residents of Birmingham, if elected?
Transparency is vitally important to Birmingham moving progressively. Accountability is essential to regaining the trust and support of the citizens.

I will implement best-practices procedures that support accountability, fairness, transparency and proper reporting procedures throughout all city departments.

How do you intend to lower Birmingham’s crime rate?
In reducing and preventing crime, we must have all hands on deck. We must have the support of all citizens. A successful, comprehensive crime- reduction program must focus on community-based, family-based, school-based, workplace based, special event/public places prevention and reduction programs. This comprehensive plan must also include allocation of proper resources for criminal justice reform, creating advisory/review boards (citizens and others), police training and strategies, community policing programs, labor/skills training programs, education/re-entry/continuing education programs and proper funding.

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