Steven L. Reed

In October 2019, winning sixty-seven percent of the vote, Steven L. Reed (1973?–    ) was elected the first black mayor of Montgomery, Alabama, a city that, in the 1860s, was the first capital of the Confederate States of America and, in the 1960s, gave birth to the American Civil Rights Movement. During his campaign, he emphasized investing in universal free pre-kindergarten, eliminating food deserts in communities, and increasing staffing on the city's police force. In his victory speech, he said, "This election has never been about me. This election has never been about just my ideas. It's been about all of the hopes and dreams that we have as individuals and collectively in this city ... and the way we found opportunities to improve outcomes regardless of neighborhood, regardless of Zip code, regardless of anything that may divide us or make us different from one another."

Born in Montgomery, Steven attended public school, graduated cum laude with a bachelors degree from Morehouse College, and earned a master of business administration degree from Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management. In his early career, he worked as a financial analysts at American Airlines headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, and was a managing partner for a national retail franchise. His early years in public service included starting a government relations firm that advocated issues before the Alabama legislature and serving as senior aide to Alabama's Lieutenant Governor Jim Folsom, Jr. In 2012, he was elected probate judge of Montgomery County, Alabama, becoming the first African American and the youngest person to hold that position. During his tenure as judge, he improved mental health outcomes, increased election integrity, and became the first probate judge in Alabama to perform same sex marriages following dissension of a federal court ruling.

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