News by VICE

“Mayor Bae” Randall Woodfin plans to remake Birmingham

The 36-year-old lawyer has big plans in a city that's suffering from white flight and high crime levels. VICE News follows Mayor Randall Woodfin during his first day on the job as he meets with government officials, his new constituents and plots out...

by Alexandra Jaffe
Dec 9 2017, 8:06am

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin is not your typical politician. The 36-year-old lawyer won an unexpected upset over incumbent Mayor William Bell by invigorating a grassroots network of young voters with a progressive pitch that echoed Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign.

At his inauguration celebration, a DJ played funk and R&B while admirers lined up for a photo with their new mayor. He was mobbed on his way out, like a rockstar departing a club. During his campaign, some Woodfin supporters dubbed him “Mayor Bae.”

But now that “Mayor Bae” is in office — he has to deliver on his promises to revolutionize the way city government works, and bring a fresh perspective to some of the city’s oldest problems. VICE News was with him on his first full day in office.

This segment originally aired December 1, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.