Vivian Davis Figures

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Vivian Figures
Vivian Figures.jpg
Member of the Alabama Senate
from the 33rd district
Assumed office
January 28, 1997
Preceded byMichael A. Figures
Member of the Mobile City Council
In office
January 1993 – January 1997
Succeeded byFred Richardson
Personal details
Born (1957-01-24) January 24, 1957 (age 62)
Mobile, Alabama, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Michael Figures (Deceased 1996)
EducationUniversity of New Haven (BA)
Faulkner University

Vivian Davis Figures (born January 24, 1957) is an American politician who is a Democratic member of the Alabama Senate, representing the 33rd District in Mobile County since she was elected on January 28, 1997 to serve the remaining term of her late husband, Senator Michael A. Figures, who was the President pro tempore of the Alabama Senate. She was re-elected without opposition in 1998 and 2002.[1]


Figures graduated from Williamson High School (Alabama) in Mobile, and received her bachelor of science degree in Management Science from the University of New Haven in Connecticut. She put herself through college by working at Yale University, and in a family owned grocery. She was attending Jones School of Law in Montgomery when her husband's death forced her to discontinue her legal education.[2] Figures has three sons. Her youngest, Jelani, is on a basketball scholarship at Morehouse College.[3]

Figures is President/CEO of Figures Legacy Education Foundation and serves on the Board of Directors of the Mobile Area Education Foundation. She is a past at-large member of the Democratic National Committee. She was initiated in the Delta Theta Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority in 2002.[1]

Before her service in the Alabama Senate, Figures was a member of the Mobile City Council. In that capacity, she was known as a staunch community advocate. Early in her council career, she led the opposition to a proposed facility for burning petroleum-contaminated oil near downtown Mobile.[4] As a council member, Figures was also the initial proponent of naming Mobile's new minor league baseball park for home run legend Hank Aaron, a Mobile native.[5] In Figures's 2008 U.S. Senate race, Aaron campaigned for Figures and hosted fundraisers in several Alabama cities.[6]

In the Alabama Senate, Figures serves as the chairwoman of the Education and Mobile County Local Legislation Committees.[1] In the legislature, Figures may be best known as the perennial sponsor of a bill to ban smoking in indoor, public places statewide in Alabama. In the 2008 general session, the bill passed the Senate, was believed to have sufficient support to pass the House, and Governor Bob Riley had indicated he would sign it. The bill died when legislative filibusters prevented a final vote in the House.[7] Figures was also instrumental in the passage of economic incentives that were critical in the location of a Thyssen-Krupp steel plant near Mobile.[8]

Figures was the Democratic nominee for the United States Senate seat that was held by Republican Jeff Sessions in the 2008 election, after winning the June 2008 Democratic primary with 64% of the vote.[9] An August 28, 2007 poll showed Sessions defeating Figures 59% to 37%.[10] A May 27, 2008 Rasmussen poll showed Sessions winning 62% to 29%. A Rasmussen poll taken a month later indicated that Figures had closed the gap by several percent, to a 58% to 34% margin.[11] According to finance reports filed just prior to the June primaries, Sessions had raised $5.5 million over the last six years, compared to $199,000 Figures had raised since beginning her campaign.[12] On November 4, she was defeated by Sessions with 37% of the vote to Sessions's 63%.[13]

On Tuesday 14 May 2019, in response to the Alabama State Legislature's passing the most restrictive bill ever banning abortion, with a penalty of 99 years imprisonment for any doctor performing an abortion, and no exceptions for rape or incest, she proposed an amendment outlawing vasectomies, arguing that "there’s no law on the books anywhere in this country that mandate[s] what a man can and can’t do with his body, yet for us there are a number of them." [14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Alabama State Senate: Vivian Davis Figures". Archived from the original on 2011-04-13. Retrieved 2007-12-15.
  2. ^ Vivian Figures for Senate: Her Story
  3. ^ "Colleges Sign Up Rattlers," Mobile Press-Register, May 12, 2007, p. C6
  4. ^ "Dirt-burners Told Plant Won't Be OK'd," Mobile Press-Register, September 7, 1995, p. A1
  5. ^ "Bears' Stadium Officially Named for Hank Aaron," Mobile Press-Register, August 8, 1996, p. A5
  6. ^ "Aaron Helps Figures Swing for Fences," The Birmingham News, June 27, 2008, p. B1
  7. ^ "Ban on Smoking Loses Steam," Mobile Press-Register, May 20, 2008, p. A2
  8. ^ "Economic Incentives Boost Passes," Mobile Press-Register, March 1, 2007, p. A4
  9. ^ "Figures, Sessions fight for Senate," Mobile Press-Register, June 4, 2008, p. A1
  10. ^ Survey USA
  11. ^ The Birmingham News Blogs: "New Poll Shows Sessions Still Leads Figures, but by a Slightly Smaller Margin," June 30, 2008
  12. ^ "Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions Raises Money," The Birmingham News, May 29, 2008, p. 3A
  13. ^ CNN Election center [1], retrieved November 11, 2008
  14. ^ Washington Post [2] 15 May 2019

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Susan Parker
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Alabama
(Class 2)

Title next held by
Doug Jones