With a longstanding desire to give back to her community, Sen. Linda Foster Coleman-Madison has served as an Alabama state senator since 2006. From 2002 to 2003, she was a member of the Alabama House of Representatives and notably held the role of director of compliance for the Americans With Disabilities Act in 2003. She is very proud of helping to pass bills that protect the rights of disabled individuals, including a recent bill on how service animals are defined. Prior to working on the state and national level, Sen. Coleman-Madison served on the Birmingham City Council from 1984 to 1997.
Earning a Bachelor of Science in education from Alabama A&M University and a Master of Arts from the University of Alabama, Sen. Coleman-Madison began her career as a special education teacher for the Birmingham City School System for 12 years, which was what ultimately led to her work in politics after she spent a year as a lobbyist for teachers’ rights with the American Federation of Teachers. Over the course of her career, she also spent 21 years as an aviation compliance administrator and also did work with the local transit authority.
Alongside her primary responsibilities, Sen. Coleman-Madison was active as the regional vice president of the National Foundation for Women Legislators for 16 years in addition to serving as the second vice president of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials. Furthermore, she spent seven years volunteering as a disaster trainer with the American Red Cross, was involved with the board of directors of the Lakeshore Foundation and Positive Maturity, and contributed to the United Negro College Fund. In 2019, Positive Maturity presented her with their Top 50 Over 50 Award.
Sen. Coleman-Madison has accomplished much over the course of her career, but she is particularly proud of getting a piece of legislature passed concerning women’s choices about their bodies during a time when there were only four women in the legislature. She also counts losing her seat on the city council to be a particularly memorable moment, as it taught her humility and losing that seat was ultimately what led her to becoming a state senator in 2006. Looking toward the future, Sen. Coleman-Madison wants to return to local government and start working with non-profit organizations. She is particularly focused on community redevelopment and education as well as affordable housing.