Joe L. Reed

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Joe L. Reed, of Montgomery, Alabama, is an African-American advocate for public education and the Democratic Party.

Joe L. Reed
Born Joe Reed
Conecuh County, Alabama
Occupation Politics
Years active 1964–present
Spouse(s) Mollie Perry

Early life[edit]

Reed was born in Conecuh County, Alabama, to the late Louis and Eula Morgan Reed. He is married to Mollie Perry of Marion, Perry County, Alabama. They have three (3) children. He attended public schools in Conecuh County, served a tour of duty in the U. S. Army in Korea, graduated from Alabama State University, where he was President of the Junior Class and President of the Student Body. He holds a Masters Degree from Case Western Reserve University in political science. Alabama State University conferred the Honorary Doctor of Law Degree on him in 1980.

Education advocacy[edit]

Reed served as Executive Secretary of the Alabama State Teachers Association from 1964 to 1969, where he became nationally known as a champion of employee rights. He was the key negotiator for the ASTA leading up to the merger with the AEA, and subsequently served as Associate Executive Secretary of the Alabama Education Association (AEA)until 2011. Reed is also a member of numerous professional associations.


Reed has served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention eight (8) times; he served as Chairman of the Alabama Delegation during the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. He is Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Conference (ADC) and Vice Chair of the Democratic Party for Minority Affairs, and he was National Co-Chair for the Committee of Educators for the Humphrey/Muskie ticket in 1968. In 2008 Hillary Clinton outreached to Reed (before Barack Obama was viewed as a serious contender in the 2008 Presidential race), to be her pointman in the area.

Advocate for minority representation and equality[edit]

In 1975, Reed led the efforts to get equitable representation for blacks on the Montgomery City Council. His efforts resulted in four blacks of nine being elected. He served on the Montgomery City Council for 24 years. In the Democratic Party today, Alabama’s black representation exceeds all other states in the nation. For over 40 years he has led the effort to get more blacks elected and appointed to public office, including federal marshals, federal and state judges, members of the boards of registrars, legislators, county commissioners, city councils, and school boards. He drafted two plans that increased black representation in the Alabama House of Representatives from 13 to 27; and in the Senate from 3 to 8 in 1982, and 1992, respectively. He also drew a reapportionment plan that provided for 25% (two of eight) majority black districts on the State Board of Education.

Alabama State University advocate[edit]

Reed is past Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Alabama State University. By driving through the campus, one can see evidence of his leadership, the C. J. Dunn Towers, the Acadome, (see naming rights controversy below) the Martin Luther King, Jr. Dormitory, the Bessie Estell Dormitory, Olean Black Underwood 12-court tennis complex, and the acquisition of Bel Air and other areas which doubled the size of the campus in Montgomery; and the purchase of Southern Normal School in Brewton, Alabama, added an additional 400 acres (1.6 km2), just to name a few of his accomplishments. During the late 1990s Reed's quest for excellence for Alabama State University often found him at odds with Donald Watkins, in highly publicized differences of opinion.

Acadome naming controversy[edit]

Reed is known for his efforts in establishing an Acadome at Alabama State University which was named after him as the Joe L. Reed Acadome. In 2008, the Alabama State University Board of Trustees voted to remove Reed's name from the building, based upon claims that Reed gave the university negative publicity and wasted taxpayer money by filing frivolous lawsuits. The trustees renamed the facility in honor of James V. Oliver, a former basketball coach at ASU. [2] This furthered a debate between members of the board and Reed supporters. In the 2009 legislative session, two legislators filed bills to restore Reed's name to the building, but both were withdrawn.

2012 Democratic National Convention controversy[edit]

In 2012, a formal challenge was filed with the Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee to have Reed's credentials as a DNC delegate to the national convention revoked.[1] The challenge was filed after Dr. Reed ran as both an Uncommitted PLEO and an Obama PLEO. The challenge alleged Reed hedged his bets to ensure he was selected as a DNC delegate in 2012.


1. Jammed mall leaves Joe Reed watching inauguration from Mexican restaurant

2. Smitherman's reasons for a Joe L. Reed Acadome

3. Is Joe Reed a straw boss or just a smart political operator?

Joe Reed Acadome Seating Chart

External links[edit]