Witherspoon, 48, was elected to the city council in 2005 to represent District 7.
The Birmingham City Council convened its usual Tuesday morning meeting only to immediately adjourn it.
Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford said city flags will be flown at half-staff until after the funeral. After the meeting Mayor Langford recalled Witherspoon's advocacy for the disabled, fighting to make city facilities ADA compliant and new developments accessible for all.
A Birmingham attorney, Witherspoon was partially paralyzed in an car wreck in 1988. She spent the rest of her life in a wheelchair, but she turned her experience into a passion, fighting for the rights of the disabled.
Yesterday, Witherspoon had told council staff that she was not feeling well. Last night she had gone to St. Vincent's hospital, council staff said. She died there during the night.
More details to follow.