Maxine Parker

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Maxine Parker

Maxine Herring Parker (born c. 1944; died November 12, 2013 in Birmingham) was an administrator at Talladega College and represented District 4 in the Birmingham City Council from 2005 until her death.

Parker attended Booker T. Washington Business College and Talladega College. She has served as president of the Collegeville neighborhood association and the North Birmingham community. Parker was also the clerk and secretary for Oak Street Baptist Church. She retired as the executive assistant to the president of Talladega college in January 2005.

Parker was first elected to the Birmingham City Council in the 2005 Birmingham City Council election, easily defeating incumbent Gwen Sykes and winning a runoff with Hezekiah Jackson. In the 2009 Birmingham City Council election she defeated challengers Ondray Agee, Earnest Lumpkin, and Robert L. Walker without a run-off. She was challenged by former Birmingham Board of Education member Edward Maddox in the 2013 Birmingham municipal election, but won again by a large margin.

On the Council Parker served as chair of the Park, Recreation, and Cultural Arts Committee and is a member of the Public Improvement committee and the Utilities committee. She earned a reputation as a humble, no-nonsense councilor, making points from the dais with an unusual economy of words and a minimum of bluster. She hosted tours of her district for other council members and also organized an annual "town hall meeting" for her constituents.

As a neighborhood officer and as a council member, Parker was a powerful advocate for her the Collegeville neighborhood. She lobbied tirelessly for help cleaning up polluted brownfield sites and improving access to the isolated community. In 2008 Parker lobbied for federal funding for a Finley Avenue flyover as part of a proposed economic stimulus bill. In 2010 she sought state funding for an overpass where 34th Street North crosses railroad tracks and a pedestrian bridge over the same tracks where they cross Fred L. Shuttlesworth Drive near Hudson K-8 School in Collegeville. The Council agreed to provide 20% matching funds for those projects in March 2010. The two projects were combined into one, later named the Council President Maxine Herring Parker Bridge, which began construction in early 2015.

Parker was re-elected in 2013 and elected as Council President when her new term began on October 22 of that year. She was admitted to Princeton Baptist Medical Center in early November and died a few days later. She was survived by a son, William Parker, who was also appointed to serve her unfilled term on the City Council. A plaque honoring Parker was added to the Birmingham Gallery of Distinguished Citizens in 2017.

Preceded by:
Gwen Sykes
Birmingham City Council District 4
2005 - 2013
Succeeded by:
William Parker
Preceded by:
Roderick Royal
Birmingham City Council President
2013
Succeeded by:
TBD

References

  • Whitmire, Kyle (October 12, 2006) "Making the Grade: Birmingham Councilors earn their marks." Birmingham Weekly
  • Bryant, Joseph D. (December 8, 2008) "Birmingham councilwoman Parker wants Finley Boulevard fly-over in economic stimulus bill." The Birmingham News
  • "Birmingham City Councilwoman Maxine Parker's legacy may be Finley Boulevard flyover to rescue Collegeville neighborhood." editorial (July 18, 2009) The Birmingham News
  • "Birmingham City Council elections: District 4 candidate Maxine Herring Parker" (August 16, 2009) The Birmingham News
  • Bryant, Joseph D. (March 30, 2010) "Birmingham City Council supports Collegeville overpasses." The Birmingham News
  • Diel, Stan (August 23, 2013) "Crime, blight, schools are biggest concerns in Birmingham's District 4 as elections approach Tuesday." The Birmingham News
  • Bryant, Joseph D. (October 22, 2013) "Maxine Parker elected president of the Birmingham City Council ." The Birmingham News
  • Bryant, Joseph D. (November 12, 2013) "Birmingham City Council President Maxine Parker has died." The Birmingham NewsBirmingham Gallery of Distinguished Citizens