1) What do you feel are the best strategies for addressing the homelessness/unsheltered population issue in Charleston?
Charleston is in desperate need of a drop-in center, more transitional housing, and warming stations that open at reasonable temperatures. These service programs will help support folks who are dealing with houslessness today. They will also improve our main streets too–as folks will have more options beyond business doorways and back alleys to sleep in. Our city’s service providers are working on all these solutions right now: they need to know City Council will support them with funding, resources, and common vision. We also need to do more to alleviate the pains of our city.
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’m running to support a steady $1 million per year in new business development funding, exclusively for small locally-owned businesses. As a small business owner (Homeward Bound Books), I know how much of a difference these small grants can make. I also believe that one of the greatest incentives we can offer economic development partners is to show a city that is racing for clean water, clean air, public health solutions, climate solutions, and homeless solutions. I’ve led the charge on all of these issues as a member of the community and am excited to help scale up progress on City Council.
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.
There is no debate: Charleston’s City Council is a big one. If we make it smaller: more people with money will win, & there’ll be less representation. Instead: What would it look like if we ran more neighbors for City Council who were closest to the pain and therefore had more motivation to find real solutions? I’m running with the Charleston Can’t Wait slate to do just that, and we’re excited to bring fresh energy and vision to City Hall.