SELMA, Ala. (WSFA) - On Oct. 6, the city of Selma will elect a new mayor into office. Voters will choose between two-time former Mayor James Perkins and current City Council member Miah Jackson.
The general election on Aug. 25 ended with Perkins securing 44% of the vote and Jackson securing 28%.
This is Perkins' eighth time running for mayor of Selma and, if elected, this will be his third time to hold the seat. When he was elected as mayor in 2000, he was named the first African American mayor of Selma.
“Looking at the condition of the community of where it was when I left office and where we are now, we’ve not progressed. I think there are some things that we just we can do better,” Perkins said. “I have the experience. I’ve been here before. I’ve done it before. So I really think I have something to contribute.”
Jackson currently serves as the Executive Director of Dallas County Court Services and was elected to Selma City Council in October 2016 for Ward 3. If elected, she will make history as the first female mayor in the city.
“As a member of the city council, I saw the erosion of our city government and the things that were not being done over the years. I saw a need, and I wanted to ensure that our citizens were receiving the very best that they could,” Jackson said.
Perkins' “Let’s fix this together” platform looks to:
- Increase jobs with livable wages
- Improve public safety
- Fix quality of life in all neighborhoods
- Improve government operations and fix government/citizen disconnect
- Phase in smart city solutions
- Support education
- Cultivate unity through faith and work
“We need our community in a place where we are actually bringing people in to live, to play, to worship. That’s the goal,” Perkins said.
Jackson’s “United We Can” platform looks to:
- Fix Selma’s budget crisis and move towards financial stability
- Create training for law enforcement
- Reduce violence
- Improve public education
- Beautify neighborhoods
- Revitalize downtown
- Preserve the city’s infrastructure
“I’m the candidate that’s going to bring transparency and accountability to our government. That’s something that we haven’t had in our leadership and is something that we definitely deserve and need,” Jackson said.
Both candidates said a big change they hope to make is the city’s government relations.
“The council and the mayor have to be willing to sit down and have conversations, the tough ones, to negotiate for the betterment of the community and not for the betterment of special interest and if we do that we’ll be successful every time,” Perkins said.
“I want to make sure that we have team building. That we have civility in our government. That every perspective is heard and that everyone is acknowledged and that we all address our issues in a manner that is applicable and agreeable,” Jackson said. “And if we disagree, we do it in such a way that we show the citizens that we are fighting for them we are not fighting each other.”