Woodfin has a bachelor's degree in political science from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia and served as SGA president during his senior year in 2002-2003. He returned to Birmingham as an assistant to Birmingham City Council president Lee Loder, and later as a staff member for the Birmingham Division of Youth Services and at the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity, where he participated in implementing programs through the Birmingham Weed & Seed Task Force.
Woodfin completed his juris doctorate at Samford University's Cumberland School of Law and clerked for one of the firms representing the Board of Education. Since graduating he has been active in local and regional political campaigns.
Woodfin was an unsuccessful candidate for the Birmingham Board of Education, District 3 in the 2009 election. In the 2013 Birmingham municipal election, Woodfin ran for the vacant District 5 seat on the Board. He took over the role of president of the new board that emerged from state takeover and addressed the needed improvements outlined by the AdvancED accrediting agency.
During the 2016 presidential election campaign, Woodfin served as statewide organizer for Hillary Clinton's campaign and briefly chaired the Young Professionals Advisory Council for the Birmingham office of the United Negro College Fund.
In August 2016 Woodfin announced his candidacy for the 2017 Birmingham mayoral election. Ed Fields managed the campaign while Pine Street Strategies of Washington D.C. conducted a national fundraising drive which targeted Morehouse graduates and pushed positive stories on Woodfin to the national media. He was endorsed locally by the Grassroots Coalition, the Birmingham Professional Firefighters Association, and the Birmingham Local Chapter of National Letter Carriers Association; and nationally by Our Revolution and the Political Revolution PAC. He garnered the largest number of votes on election day, advancing to a runoff with incumbent William Bell.
On October 3, 2017, Randall Woodfin won the run-off election for Mayor of Birmingham with 59% of the votes defeating incumbent Mayor William Bell. Woodfin named Fields, Charles Krulak and Bobbie Knight to his transition team. On November 14 he announced that Cedric Sparks would serve as his chief of staff, with Kevin Moore as chief of operations, Kevin Datcher as chief of governmental affairs (to liaise with the City Council), Ed Fields as chief strategist and senior adviser, and Nicole King as city attorney. He was sworn into office on November 28, 2017.
On March 15, 2018 Woodfin hosted a public event at the Alabama Theatre to publicize "The Woodfin Way", the combined reports of his transition teams' analysis of city operations during his first 100 days in office. The report suggested several major changes to priorities and organization of City Hall. The mayor held a public event, called "The Big Picture," on March 21, 2019 at the Alabama School of Fine Arts' Dorothy Jemison Day Theater to update progress on his agenda. Woodfin delivered a mid-term update at Haven on December 3, 2019. He touted the growth of the Birmingham Neighborhood Revitalization Fund, which has made possible the paving of 16 miles of streets, the repair of 27,516 potholes, and the demolition of more than 700 dilapidated structures. He also spoke about the city's coordinated efforts to revitalized downtown Ensley. Other programs mentioned included the Birmingham Peace Campaign, the restructuring of the 311 service, the Pardons for Progress program, and the Birmingham Promise Initiative. Going forward, Woodfin announced future efforts to restructure the city's recycling program, to promote environmental justice, to reduce homelessness, and to support women- and minority-owned businesses.
Woodfin has been recognized for his use of social media to speak up on behalf of the city, in discussions about Civil Rights as well as a way to communicate with businesses considering expansions, such as Amazon, BMW, Cook Out, Delta and Kroger.
|Birmingham Board of Education president
|Mayor of Birmingham
- "Birmingham Board of Education District 3: Randall Lee Woodfin" (August 17, 2009) The Birmingham News
- Stein, Kelsey (August 23, 2013) "Birmingham election: District 5 a balancing act among interests of downtown, neighborhoods, business." The Birmingham News
- "Groundbreakers" (December 2013) Birmingham magazine
- "2016 Top 40 Under 40: Randall Woodfin, Birmingham Board of Education." (February 12, 2016) Birmingham Business Journal
- "An Interview with Randall Woodfin – Candidate for Mayor of Birmingham, Alabama" (June 18-July 10, 2017) Political Revolution (4 parts)
- King, Chris (October 5, 2017) "St. Louisans help elect progressive mayor in Birmingham, Randall Woodfin’s campaign managed by Donald Calloway Jr.’s firm." The St Louis American
- Archibald, John (October 5, 2017) "Randall Woodfin answers: What comes next for Birmingham." The Birmingham News
- Johnson, Roy S. (October 5, 2017) "Randall Woodfin vows to create 'best team this city's ever seen'." The Birmingham News
- Edgemon, Erin (October 8, 2017) "How Morehouse College alumni powered Randall Woodfin's campaign for Birmingham mayor." The Birmingham News
- Koplowitz, Howard (October 10, 2017) "Mayor-elect Woodfin taps Charles Krulak, Bobbie Knight to lead transition." The Birmingham News
- Prickett, Sam (October 12, 2017) "First? Look at the Books: A Q&A With Birmingham’s Next Mayor" BirminghamWatch
- "Randall Woodfin on economic development, working with the biz community and more." (October 26, 2017) Birmingham Business Journal
- Edgemon, Erin (March 15, 2018) "Woodfin addresses recommended changes to public safety, education, social justice at 100-day event." The Birmingham News
- Johnson, Roy S. (April 23, 2018) "Woodfin: 'Give me your gun and I will personally help you get a job'" The Birmingham News
- Prickett, Sam (December 5, 2018) "One Year and Counting: Birmingham Mayor Woodfin Focuses on Revitalizing Neighborhoods" BirminghamWatch
- Koplowitz, Howard (January 17, 2019) "Woodfin gives shout-outs to Kroger, Cook Out on Twitter, says social media is ‘tool’ to recruit biz." The Birmingham News
- Prickett, Sam (March 22, 2019) "The Big Picture: Woodfin’s Team Updates Residents About Progress on Public Safety, Economic Opportunities and Other Initiatives" BirminghamWatch
- Beahm, Anna (November 24, 2019) "Here’s how Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin grades himself at 2 years." The Birmingham News
- Johnson, Roy S. (November 24, 2019) "Woodfin may tout first-half gains, yet still chasing promises." The Birmingham News
- Prickett, Sam (December 3, 2019) "Woodfin Touts Neighborhood Revitalization Work, Cuts in Crime Rates in Update on his Administration’s Progress" BirminghamWatch