Posted in Black History

Mayor Steven Reed, Montgomery, Alabama First Black Mayor

By 1859, there were as many slave depots in Montgomery as there were hotels and banks. Kidnapped men and women were marched up Commerce Street in chains to the slave auction house or one of the four slave depots — all within a few blocks of Reed’s new office in City Hall. At the beginning of the Civil War, the city’s slave population was larger than those of major ports New Orleans and Natchez, Miss. Montgomery, Alabama was a Hub of the Slave Trade and a Center of the Civil Rights Movement. It’s About to Swear in Its First Black Mayor.

Steven L. Reed was sworn in November 2019 as the 57th Mayor of the City of Montgomery, Alabama, a historic destination known globally as The Birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement.  Mayor Reed is the first African American to hold the position. A native of Montgomery, Mayor Reed is committed to realizing his vision of a more equitable, progressive, and compassionate city. To that end, he is advancing an agenda that addresses the community’s most pressing issues and puts Montgomery on track to become a leader in the New South.

Mayor Reed led the effort to increase funding for Montgomery’s public schools for the first time in nearly 30 years. In doing so, he organized a cross-community, broad, and diverse coalition of supporters, including faith and business leaders to educators, activists, and parents. This support was crucial to more adequately invest in education and ensure a brighter future for Montgomery.

Accomplished Public Servant & Leader

As a lifelong public servant and leader, Mayor Reed previously served as Montgomery County, Alabama’s first African American and youngest elected Probate Judge. He expanded mental health services to some of Montgomery’s most vulnerable residents, improved the facilities of the Probate Court, and modernized the office to better serve the community. As Probate Judge, Mayor Reed served on the Department of Homeland Security’s Election Integrity Commission and initiated a statewide campaign to educate the public about new Voter ID laws.

In his first year in office, Mayor Reed successfully led Montgomery through the once-in-a-lifetime pandemic that impacted all aspects of life. Amid the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and its sweeping effects on public and private sector budgets, Mayor Reed restructured the city government to increase efficiency and effectiveness while ensuring the City maintained a balanced budget without having to touch reserves, borrow money or initiate layoffs. As a result, bond rating agencies awarded Montgomery its best grades since the Great Recession. 

In July 2021, Route Fifty named Mayor Reed on its inaugural list recognizing ten local leaders who are tackling some of the most pressing issues facing America’s cities. In 2020, Mayor Reed was named one of the ten most powerful and influential local officials by Yellowhammer News. That same year, Mitch Landrieu’s E Pluribus Unum (EPU) invited Mayor Reed to join its inaugural class of UNUM Fellows, a group of 14 accomplished and diverse Southern elected leaders who embarked on a year-long journey to address inequitable and discriminatory policies and practices within their communities. 

In April 2021, Mayor Reed launched a new education technology initiative called MGM Codes.  In collaboration with Montgomery Public Schools, the non-profit Ed Farm, and Apple, Mayor Reed’s initiative increases access to high-tech tools and teaching assets, helping advance innovation, creativity and outcomes for Montgomery middle school students. Montgomery’s neighborhoods and infrastructure are central to Mayor Reed’s vision for a greater Montgomery. In the spring of 2021, Mayor Reed announced a plan to reinvest $50 million in Montgomery neighborhoods, community centers, public safety infrastructure and public transportation. 

Mayor Reed received the Dr. Martin Luther King Leadership Award for Governmental Service and was chosen as a New Deal Leader, which selects leaders who are committed to innovative, progressive ideas. He was selected as one of 40 chief executives for the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, a program designed to equip mayors with innovative leadership and management tools to tackle complex challenges and improve the quality of life in their communities. Mayor Reed also serves on the National League of Cities Reimagining Public Safety Task Force, the Transportation and Communications Committee, and the Tourism, Arts, Parks, Entertainment and Sports Committee of the United States Conference of Mayors. 

The Atlantic, The New York Times, Esquire and The Guardian, among other publications, have featured Mayor Reed for his work to transform the narrative surrounding Montgomery and to protect residents during the COVID-19 Pandemic. He has appeared on programs like The Rachel Maddow Show, PBS Newshour, CNN New Day and CBS This Morning. 

Not only answering a call to serve as chief executive, but Mayor Reed has also invested himself in his hometown through philanthropy and advocacy. An alumnus of Leadership Alabama, he has volunteered as a YMCA football coach and serves on the boards of the River Region United Way, the Metro Board of the Montgomery Area YMCA, Trustmark Bank, and Valiant Cross Academy.  Mayor Reed is the Moderator at Community Congregational United Church of Christ, as well as an active member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc. 

Mayor Reed is a proud graduate of the Montgomery Public School system. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from Morehouse College and a Master of Business Administration degree from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. Mayor Reed and his wife Tamika are the proud parents of three children.

Duties of the Mayor

The Mayor serves as head of the administrative branch of City government and holds the following responsibilities:

  • Enforcing all laws and ordinances
  • Appointing and removing all officers and employees of the City
  • Exercising administrative supervision and control over all departments
  • Keeping the Council fully advised of the financial conditions and needs of the City
  • Preparing and submitting annual budgets to the Council
  • Recommending actions to the Council
  • Setting salaries and/or compensations of appointed officers and employees of the city


Versatile Christian Blogger, wife of Minister Woods, mother of 3, grandmother of 3.

2 thoughts on “Mayor Steven Reed, Montgomery, Alabama First Black Mayor

Comments are closed.