Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle's campaign issued this press release Wednesday:
Tommy Battle officially launched his campaign for a fourth term as mayor. At a lunch event surrounded by more than 500 supporters, Battle announced he is seeking to remain in the Rocket City’s top leadership spot.
A small business owner before office, Battle won his first mayoral term in 2008. He has since secured his place in two subsequent elections, winning both by more than 80% of the vote.
Battle started his tenure as Mayor by leading the city to its first of 11 straight Triple-A credit ratings and beginning the work to attract and grow a diverse economic base. The Battle administration focused on improving infrastructure and raising the quality of life.
Since that time, Battle’s work has paid dividends in multiple avenues, beginning with the addition of more than 28,000 new jobs to Huntsville and $7 billion in economic investment for the city. Battle led the way in creating new coalitions and collaborations across the region to recruit companies like Blue Origin, Polaris, GE Aviation, Facebook, and others, particularly the groundbreaking Mazda-Toyota partnership.
“When I took office almost 12 years ago, my economic development goal was to create partnerships and diversify our base,” Battle said in his speech to supporters. “We now have thousands of new jobs in the advanced manufacturing, biotech, cybersecurity, and geospatial fields. We have accomplished that goal by working together with others in our region, and I’m grateful for those partners.”
Battle sees Huntsville’s 18 minute commute as key to that economic development strategy. Throughout his first three terms Battle focused on improving infrastructure by mounting the Restore Our Roads campaign to convince the state to match the city’s road funding. This innovative plan resulted in $500 million in new roads, expansive repaving, and major improvements to primary corridors.
The short commute is just one small part of quality of life initiatives the Battle administration has developed. Launching The BIG Picture process - a citizen-driven approach to city master planning - brought to life Battle’s vision for long-term success as a growing city. The plan centers around neighborhood development, parks and greenways, transportation, and placemaking in every district.
As the The BIG Picture plan has progressed, Battle’s vision has encompassed the arts, culture, and entertainment as a focal point. Under his administration, Huntsville developed the Arts and Cultural Grant Program for local arts-producing non-profits. The funds invested in the program result in performances, exhibits, classes, and more, serving over 115,000 residents every year. The SPACES Sculpture Trail and downtown mural projects are signs of Battle’s desire to develop an artistic identity for Huntsville.
“We’re the city that put man on the moon. We build rockets, but we also build guitars, board games, burritos and breweries,” Battle said in his remarks. “Creativity and innovation put Huntsville in orbit. That same creativity and innovation will attract and retain the best and brightest, keeping Huntsville in the forefront of progress.”
Continuing Huntsville’s measured growth is Battle’s main objective, and he considers every citizen a partner in the city’s success. In his remarks, he led supporters through his plans to lead that progress with transparency and consistent communication for four more years. Battle’s administration is the first in Huntsville history to make use of social media platforms and has expanded the broadcast of government meetings and events. City departments regularly communicate with the public through newsletters and videos. Battle’s goal is for citizens to feel included and their concerns heard.
“You’ve all heard that Huntsville may be the biggest city in Alabama within five years. That’s an interesting statistic, but I don’t want to focus on being the biggest,” Battle said. “I want to be the best, and not just in Alabama. We are a shining star in our region and that is because our citizens are involved in our success.”
Battle also shared his belief that the first three terms were what it took to lay the foundation for what’s next.
“We’ve done so much work to get to this point, but there is still much to be done,” Battle said as he closed his speech. “Our plans are in place, and now we have to roll up our sleeves and finish the work. I’m asking for your support and your vote. I’m Tommy Battle, and I’m ready to continue to work for you.”
The election will be Tuesday, August 25, 2020.