A native of Rowan County, Al is the Mayor of Salisbury, North Carolina. Al is married to Isaac Heggins. She’s a mother, grandmother, veteran, small business owner, and former teacher and college administrator. On Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, Al became the first African American woman to be elected to Salisbury City Council. As the top vote-getter, she went on to become Mayor, another historic first for the City. Al is running for re-election to City Council because the work is not done.
“I pledge to continue being that public servant you deserve by pushing for higher wages, fair housing, and a better quality of life for all.”
A 19-year veteran of the U.S. Army, Al is fluent in both English and Spanish. In 2013, she was selected by President Barack Obama as a White House Champion of Change for exemplary work integrating immigrant and refugee communities into the High Point community.
Today, Al is focused on Innovation, Infrastructure and Inclusiveness.
Her priorities include:
Putting resources into all Salisbury neighborhoods
Revitalizing the City’s infrastructure
Inclusive government for all people
Addressing the crippling effects of poverty throughout the community
Working to continue decreasing the crime rate
Higher wages, fair housing, and a better quality of life for everyone
Al earned a master's degree in Education/TESL with an emphasis on linguistics and culture from UNC-Charlotte, as well as a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in public relations. Her extensive and varied work experience includes:
• 19 years of military service as an Army officer in the Adjutant’s General Corps and Military Intelligence
• English as a Second Language (ESOL) teacher for the Rowan-Salisbury School System
• Instructor of writing and ESL at UNC-Charlotte
• Dean and Associate Vice President at Livingstone College
• Human Relations Director for the City of High Point
Exceptionally qualified for public office, Al completed the Municipal and County Administration Course at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Government. She has extensive additional training, including as a mediator through Mediation Inc. and a fair housing specialist through the National Fair Housing Training Academy. Her personal motto is,
“Discover your service purpose to humankind and occupy that space fully.”
Al is the founder and owner of the Human Praxis Institute (HPI), a human relations firm based in Salisbury. HPI helps organizations and communities create and sustain inclusive and welcoming environments. Al has developed a three-tiered system in which participants build awareness, design an action plan, and implement the plan.
Al led the City of High Point's Human Relations Department in the advancement of human and civil rights. Her work in High Point received numerous recognitions, including:
• In 2013, Al was profoundly honored to be named by President Obama as a White House Champion of Change for exemplary municipal work for integrating immigrant and refugee communities into the Greater High Point community.
• In 2012, Al was selected as a co-recipient of the 2012 Sharon S. Mújica Award, a community service award that honors people who provide remarkable service to Latino communities.
• In 2009, the High Point Student Human Relations Commission received the National League of Cities Cultural Diversity Award.
“As the first African American woman to be elected to Salisbury City Council and serve as Mayor, I open every meeting by saying, ‘Welcome to the People’s House.’ My position of putting people first will continue to be the foundation of my public service.”