Mobile City Council approves annexation vote, could make Mobile 2nd largest Alabama city
The Mobile City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to let more than 25,000 people vote on whether they want their neighborhoods to be annexed — a move that, if approved, would make Mobile the second-largest city in Alabama.
The proposal sets the stage for Mobile to pass the population of Birmingham for the first time since the 1900 Census, AL.com reported.
“We are teed up to move this city forward in a very positive way,” Mayor Sandy Stimpson said.
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Councilman Joel Daves called it a “once-in-a-generation vote.”
“It was the triumph of hope over fear,” Daves said. “It was the triumph of progress over stagnation and the triumph of trust over distrust.”
Mobile’s current population is just over 187,000. If all four targeted areas approve annexation, the city will pass Montgomery’s population of roughly 200,600 and Birmingham’s 200,700. Huntsville will remain Alabama’s largest city with a population of 215,000.
A special election date was not immediately announced.
A consultant’s report shows Mobile’s current voting age population is 49.7% Black and 44.4% white. Under the annexation proposal, 46.8% would be Black and 46.7% would be white.
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The City Council vote Tuesday was a reversal of a 2019 council decision to reject an annexation proposal to bring in 13,000 residents. That vote was 4-3 with the council’s four white members voting yes and the three Black members voting no. At least five council votes are needed to set an annexation special election.
Council President C.J. Small voted against the 2019 proposal. Small said the difference this time was that a consultant conducted a study that found the potential for revenue growth from annexation. He said a similar effort was missing in 2019. Small also said the city has invested more into his majority-Black district, with improvements to parks and the Boys and Girls Club.