Howard Bayless Running for Birmingham City Council

howardbaylessHoward will run for the seat currently held by Valerie Abbott.  He was the first out gay man elected to public office in Alabama, having served on the Birmingham school board since November 2007.  He’s been a leader in the struggle for LGBT equality in Alabama and has a real commitment to public service.

I’d love to see him go toe to toe in Council meetings with Larry Langford and  Joel Montgomery, but with any luck they won’t be around after October 2009.

4 Responses to “Howard Bayless Running for Birmingham City Council”

  1. Joe says:

    Is Howard challenging Valerie or is she not going to run for re-election?

  2. Kathy says:

    As far as I know, he’s challenging her, but I don’t think she has announced yet.

  3. Helen says:

    Valerie is running. This is going to be a little tough for people who like Valerie and appreciate her hard work. It will be a situation, though, where people have the option of voting ‘for’ a candidate rather than against the greater of two bad choices.

    I also think Valerie would make an awesome City (or County) manager, should she choose that route.

    Howard is very good at workingto bring people together, often quietly or behind the scenes –he’s accomplished a lot during his School Board tenure but not grabbed many headlines. Like Valerie, he has excellent management skills. He’s focused, goal oriented–and very polite. He also is very comfortable, and respectful, in diverse situations.

    Finally, I would like to see highly qualified new people step up to run in all Council districts.

  4. Coop says:

    This is great news. While Valerie seems a decent person, as a politician she is not very skilled at getting consensus and producing results. I think Howard will be a much more proactive representative of that district. While Valerie has been a prudent councilor who “does her homework” and asks some tough questions, she’s never seemed interested in translating that into true leadership. Here’s hoping that Howard can do that.

    And, with a probable conviction of the Mayor on the way, here’s hoping we can elect Birmingham’s first truly progressive Mayor, the first who’s an unabashed friend and advocate for the GLBT community–Patrick Cooper.

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