MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - It's a significant day for the city known as the birthplace of the civil rights movement. Montgomery will swear in its first ever African-American mayor.
Steven Reed will take the oath of office in a special city council meeting to be held at the Montgomery Performing Arts Center Tuesday morning.
“Certainly, the historic significance is not lost on me and it’s something that I embrace,” Reed explained becoming Mayor of Montgomery was never about the color of his skin. “We got into the race because we thought we were the best candidate period, with the best ideas and the best vision for moving the city to another level.”
Reed's vision is clear, to build on what Montgomery is already doing right.
“I think some of our development downtown has been good, some of our crime numbers are going down,” the Mayor-Elect said. “Financially, we’re on good footing.”
But there’s always room for improvement and Steven Reed has a clear-cut list of areas where he plans to step in and pursue progress.
“We also want to help with our public education system, we want to do what we can to support it and to strengthen it. And we want to make sure that we’re working in our neighborhoods to revitalize them in a more equitable manner than we have maybe recently,” said Reed. "I think lastly, we want to make sure that crime is an issue where people feel uncomfortable if they want to do bad things, and we want to make sure that our police as well as our community has the trust in one another, and also has the tools necessary to make sure that our security and our frame of mind stays peaceful, because that’s not only a health issue, it’s also an economic issue.”
Reed has spent a lot of time with outgoing Mayor Todd Strange, and members of his cabinet, getting ready to take over the reigns of the capital city. And he’s ready to get to work.
“We’re in a great place, and our only limitations are ourselves,” said the incoming Mayor. “I really want to have a greater impact in being able to change the outcomes of the people of this city."
“I’m going to be a mayor for everyone.”
The special swearing-in ceremony is set to begin at 10 a.m. at the Montgomery Performing Arts Center. Mayor-Elect Reed will take his oath of office after all nine of the city council members are sworn-in. Then he’s planning a “citizens’ reception”, a time to “get to know” the people of Montgomery. That’s at City Hall at 2 p.m.