Council Member Devyn Keith
Devyn Keith was sworn in as a member of the Huntsville City Council in November 2016. In this role, Keith represents District 1, an area that covers much of Northern Huntsville including Alabama A&M University and stretching into the downtown core.
Keith was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama and is a proud product of its large community network. Driven by a passion for public service and a deep connection to the people of his community, Keith is a true believer that “Huntsville is the best city this side of Heaven.”
Keith received his undergraduate degree from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and was a scholarship player for the Samford Bulldogs football team. While in Birmingham, Keith launched the nonprofit Brothers of 1 Voice, an effort aimed at educating, empowering and advocating for youth who aged out of state support services.
A student of the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, Keith graduated with his Master’s in Public Administration and while in Boston, worked in leadership roles in area nonprofits and government. During his time in the City on a Hill, he developed working relationships with leaders at the federal, state and local levels, learning innovative ways to effect meaningful change with tangible impact. Despite opportunities extended for him to plant in Boston or D.C., Keith chose to return home to North Huntsville, where he could help in the continued efforts to build up a community that helped build him.
Keith currently serves as the Executive Director of the Cap & Gown Project, a Huntsville-based nonprofit seeking to provide opportunities and mentorship for underrepresented secondary school students who wish to pursue a college education.
Elected by his fellow Council Members as President in 2018, Keith is currently the youngest serving Council President in Huntsville’s history. He maintains his passion to bring about positive change and has kept a promise to live in four different communities within his district in his first term. Devyn has called Terry Heights, Glen Park and now Meadow Hills ‘home’ over the past three years, a decision he credits with helping him better understand the people of North Huntsville and, ultimately, a choice that he says has made him a better, more compassionate advocate for the residents of District 1.
Reducing crime, increasing property values, investing in infrastructure and enhancing a vibrant quality of life for all of District 1 are main tenants of his vision. “From Douglas Road to Downtown Huntsville, District 1 is made up of the most kind-hearted, talented group of people you’ll find anywhere,” Keith said. “From vast horse ranches to buzzing urban cores, North Huntsville has always been a diverse community, showcasing with authenticity, Huntsville’s potential – both realized and unrealized.”
Keith believes that for a community to thrive, all its corners need to be tended to. As he often says, “As North Huntsville goes, so goes Huntsville.” This mentality has driven him to work with the City of Huntsville to launch the Neighborhood Resource Center, a program that brings City government to the neighborhood – quite literally, helping to reduce crime and provide easy access to government resources. It’s a mentality that has led him to successfully advocate for higher pay for Huntsville police officers, push for redevelopment of blighted properties (“Tipping Point” by Malcom Gladwell is on his must-read list. Pro tip: skip to “Broken Glass Theory”) and invest in innovative and successful uses for ‘Catalyst areas’ like the former Johnson High School campus.
Keith understands that “no plan has potential without the right people.” So, by listening, learning and working collaboratively with community leaders, he is excited to give back to Huntsville – a city that, as he says, “gave so much” to him. Keith is a believer in transparent, citizen-accessible and diverse government and continues to work daily to create viable solutions to the issues impacting his community. His vision to increase civic engagement, move common sense, progressive policies forward and update the perception of his District remain at the forefront during his tenure as the District 1 representative of the Huntsville City Council.