Free, high quality public education is a right of every child.
Public education is important to build thriving economies, strong communities, and individuals who believe they can make a difference. Education was my way out of poverty and I owe it to a system that invested in me. South Carolina’s public education has been on the wrong side of the ‘best of’ list for too long. Teachers are leaving the state because they do not feel like they are being treated as professionals and our children are underperforming because they are being tested like machines. To ensure that all children in South Carolina receive the highest quality education, the government must stop putting their blind trust into testing companies and focus on real solutions.
When teachers are treated with respect, paid competitively, and have their voices listened to, they will be more inclined to stay in the field, thrive in the classroom and will provide better outcomes for their students. Retaining talent is always cheaper than hiring new. Respectively, when children are not treated like robots they are able to flourish and become strong, self-relying human beings.
A community where business thrives is a place where folks have steady jobs with livable wages.
Living wages are so important, especially to keep young talent. Like Nick, who I helped land his first tech job after completing The Iron Yard. Prior to attending my program, he had his bachelor’s degree in economics and the best job he could find was an internship that paid minimum wage. Like most parts of the country, we’re experiencing low employment with high underemployment.
Our District, City and State, sees businesses moving to neighboring cities. The City itself sees higher business attrition than our competing cities in the state. In order for our District to remain competitive, our representative must work with the City and County to address the high tax on micro and small businesses. In order to truly prosper, we need to make sure the top entities and individuals pay their fair share of taxes.
We have to address the deep, systemic issues that have led to increasing crime trends in the District.
The fact that gun violence, crime, violence against women, opioid addiction, etc. are disproportionally in lower socio-economic communities signals that it is a systemic issue. State government should lead the way in collaborative practices that will help our youth, parents, and school system. We must partner with organizations, churches, and neighborhoods to help end the desensitizing of gun violence in certain areas. We can no longer throw money at deeply rooted issues and expect change. Progressive conversations and swift actions are required.
How many potholes have you hit? Have you ever been afraid to walk in your community because of lack of sidewalks? How much money have you spent to repair your vehicle because of our poor roads and infrastructure?
South Carolina owns 70% of all roads in the state. While most South Carolinians may be able to afford to take their car in to get serviced every time an axel cracks or tire blows, many South Carolinians cannot. So they’re driving in unsafe cars on unkempt roads. We need to stop funding secret and pet-projects of legislators and properly fund the South Carolina Department of Transportation. We need to hold the federal government and Congress accountable for funding our projects. Trust me, I know this isn’t an attractive topic, but millions of us use the roads every single day. Our economic impact from our crumbling infrastructure is huge.
Nearly 20% of all residents in the Columbia Metro area aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from.
Grocery stores are closing across Columbia and South Carolina. We must work to make options for residents for healthful, affordable, and high quality food in food deserts around the district and state. If we don’t, we are just passing the buck to the next department or government entity to deal with the problem.
We must be collaborative and work with organizations, investors, and entrepreneurs to rid South Carolina of food deserts and insecurities. No matter your political affiliation, no person should go hungry.