A historical moment for the city of Montgomery is creeping toward us, and we get to opt in to how much we want to be a part of it. I am begging you to show up that day.
On October 8th we will announce to ourselves and the rest of the world what kind of place we want Montgomery to be. Two men have made it to the mayoral runoff election, and the stakes are high. We get to choose between a probate judge who has dedicated his life to improving his community with a track record to back it up, or a guy who owns three TV stations who has convinced a handful of people that having zero experience doesn’t matter when you’re running for political office.
The men are Steven Reed and David Woods. Read about Reed’s stances on issues here and Woods’ approach here. I won’t elaborate on each issue for you (I think they can speak for themselves on that), but if I may, I’d like to really illustrate what exactly is going on here, and why you must show up to vote.
How Woods ever got this far is beyond me. It should be an insult not only to Republicans and conservatives, but to all voters that Woods ever got this close to political power. We deserve to be able to compare candidates who are worth our time. I’m sure Woods is an okay guy and maybe even fun to have around for poker night, or whatever, but the mayor’s office is too important to give just anyone a stab at occupying it. Woods isn’t evil. But I’ve had enough of powerful people pandering with lines like “no more politics as usual” and “in business, this is how we do things.” Why wouldn’t you want someone who’s actually qualified to do an important job? Excuse me, but I take this running-the-government thing seriously.
The story is classic. Woods is an old, well-connected, probably nice, guy who seems to have had a successful career running three local TV stations. He was surrounded by people who worked under him, some of whom probably genuinely liked him, and when the idea was first raised of him seeking political office, it seemed like a natural transition because that’s what this country has been allowing to happen. Woods can’t draw on a single example of a time he did the right thing in political office. He can’t even come up with a time he did the wrong thing. And we’re supposed to what, just hope that when he gets in the heat of things, he fully understands all of the issues at play? My two political science degrees make me more qualified than him. He ran for congress once and failed. I ran for class president once, and also failed. I guess he and I are the same. Except for, oh wait, my degrees.
Perhaps Woods made it this far because there was no one better, or perhaps he is just extremely charismatic at campaign events. I can’t imagine anyone looking at his resume and saying “yep, this is the guy.” Montgomery is smarter than that.
But don’t just vote for Reed by default because Woods has literally never proven himself. Plenty of politicians suck, and we should absolutely scrutinize Reed’s track record. Vote for Reed because he’s actually a hell of an amazing candidate.
Reed was the first probate judge in the entire state of Alabama to follow the federal law of the land and perform same-sex marriages. It shouldn’t be that impressive that a judge did what he was supposed to, but here we are. Reed has also been critical in furthering the advancement of mental health options for those facing incarceration. He’s improved voting accessibility and helped people better understand voter ID laws, even going so far as the Supreme Court to ensure everyone has fair access to voting booths.
On the other hand, Woods lists “former Sunday school teacher” as part of his qualifications on his website. Don’t just take my word for it, see for yourself.
Montgomery is at a turning point. If Woods is elected, it will only be because not everyone showed up that day. Period. Any literate goofball can compare the two and see that one should probably stick to what he’s good at, and the other should…also stick to what he’s good at.
The election is October 8th. David Woods is not qualified to run our precious city. Steven Reed has more than proven himself.
This city belongs to us. And to Rosa Parks. And to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s time we’re led by someone who represents us.