1) What do you feel are the best strategies for addressing the homelessness/unsheltered population issue in Charleston?
The Charleston Homeless Task Force along with the Charleston Police Department launched a campaign called “Give Where It Belongs.” in 2018. Some of the fundamental principles of this campaign reign true today, helping our most vulnerable with resources to reach self-sufficiency. However, I have walked into buildings and abandoned properties vandalized in disrepair. I do not condone behavior such as this and should not be labeled as a homeless issue. Furthermore, many realized during the COVID19 pandemic when jobs were lost, they were one or two paychecks removed from homelessness
2) What is your position on economic development incentives and how can the City work with economic development partners to incentivize business relocation and expansion?
I have worked tirelessly with small business owners as a Minority & Women Business Program Officer and as a property manager in Downtown Charleston. Some businesses have relocated from out of town and others have been local businesses looking to relocate within the city. Having multi-use buildings for commercial/retail and residential use as well as liaisons assisting with small business needs and business improvement districts is imperative to attracting, retaining, and growing business. The continued redevelopment of abandoned and/or dilapidated buildings is key to the vibrancy of our city.
3) Charleston City Council has 26 council members. Do you believe that this number is too large to be effective or it adequate? Please explain your answer.
I sponsored a bill to review the size of City Council, responsibilities and attendance at City Council Committee meetings, and term limits. This bill passed and has been referred to a select committee. The select committee announcement is forthcoming. My suggestion would be to reduce the size of Council and have attendance requirements for City Council Committee meetings.