Johnathan F. Austin has the vision and experience to lead the City of Birmingham to higher heights. Having spent almost a decade as the District 5 Council Member, Austin knows what’s right with our city and where we can do better. Though Austin is the youngest person to hold the Council Presidency, his breadth of experience is vast. At just age 38, President Austin has governed the largest municipality in the State of Alabama with a $420 million operating budget. He’s successfully managed non-profits that provided critical resources to Birmingham’s children, and his services as a strategic business consultant are sought across the nation.
During his tenure on the City Council, President Austin has championed issues important to his constituency and to the residents of Birmingham as a whole. He spearheaded efforts behind the passage of numerous city ordinances including the city’s Smoke Free Ordinance, the Minimum Wage Increase for Birmingham’s working men and women, and the changes in the city’s Transportation Network ordinance, paving the way for Uber to begin operating in Birmingham. Most recently, Austin gained passage of an innovative Food Tax Incentive program that will put money back into the pockets of Birmingham’s most vulnerable citizens to allow them to purchase healthy foods.
Austin’s leadership of the Council has birthed a new focus on revitalizing Birmingham’s neighborhoods—tearing down thousands of blighted homes, cutting thousands of overgrown lots, improving community parks, paving city streets, and bringing in millions of federal dollars for transit service improvements.
President Austin understands the value of education and will fight to ensure that students in Birmingham’s City Schools have the best resources and technology available. Austin’s Birmingham Careers program offers a hand up to our young people through career readiness and job placement programs. Ever important in the 21st Century, Johnathan will work to make our city safer by creating programs to keep guns off our streets and reduce rates of violent crime. As a young black man himself, Johnathan knows there’s a better path than the one that leads to the system and will continue working to ensure that other young men and women receive the same opportunities as the ones afforded to him.
Born and raised in Birmingham, Johnathan’s dedication to public service was instilled in him by his parents Rev. Dr. Gerald Austin and Dr. Gwen Austin. Johnathan counts his large family, 5 siblings and 16 nieces and nephews as one of his greatest blessings. He can often be seen walking his two dogs, Remus and Zeus- a rescue dog, through the Central City neighborhood where he served a President prior to joining the City Council. President Austin is a proud honors graduate of Miles College and is currently pursuing his law degree at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law.