Councilman Gregorie stands on historic threshold
Born and reared on peninsula Charleston, William Dudley Gregorie is truly a native son of the “Holy City.” After graduating from Burke High School in 1967, Dudley left his beloved Charleston to attend Benedict College.
In the years that followed, he earned a B.S. and M.A. from Benedict College and Howard University respectively and pursued post-graduate studies at Catholic University and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Two decades later, Dudley returned to the Palmetto State as the highest-ranking official with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in South Carolina.
As HUD’S South Carolina Director, Dudley made history. During his eight-year stewardship, the federal agency’s assets topped $2 billion with expenditures rising from $660 million to more than $1.4 billion to support critically needed services in communities across the state.
Dudley’s hometown also benefited from his leadership of the HUD’s field office in Columbia. The City of Charleston received $12 million in tax credits for job creation and the Medical University of South Carolina received a $400 million mortgage through the Federal Housing Administration to construct Ashley River Tower, creating thousands of local jobs and a state-of-the-art health care facility.
After ending a 32 year career with HUD, Dudley turned to politics in 2007 as an independent mayoral candidate in his beloved Charleston. Although his first campaign was not successful, many of the ideas and issues he raised during his campaign have been implemented.
In January 2009, true to his tenacious nature, Dudley continued his quest to serve and entered the race for the vacated District 6 City Council seat, and won. As District 6 Representative, Councilman Gregorie immediately began making history, utilizing his experience and fiscal knowledge. District 6 is currently one of a few districts experiencing significant sustainable urban development. This is evident through the surge in projects to build and improve hotels, drainage, recreation, housing, livability, transportation, public safety and economic development.
The largest of these projects is the $1 billion Horizon Foundation development on the western edge of the peninsula. It will create a knowledge-based economy, creating jobs, economic development and market-rate and affordable housing units.
Councilman Gregorie was sworn in on February 17, 2009. A few months later, in the November 2009 general election, Councilman Gregorie ran unopposed. In January 2010, Councilman Gregorie was sworn in for his first 4-year term, representing West Ashley and downtown neighborhoods. Councilman Gregorie took on a tough agenda, introducing legislation regarding transparency in government (televised city council meetings), amendments to the city’s Fair Housing Law (strengthen local enforcement powers) size and frequency of cruise ships (livability and preservation), shore power (livability and environmental), and the Medical Mile (created a smoke-free zone around the MUSC main campus).
Councilman Gregorie also fought for the funding of Lenavar Park, Higgins Pier, Harmon Ball Field, Ferguson Village, Jack Adams Tennis Courts and a revenue increase aimed at increasing the safety of our children. Additionally, Councilman Gregorie has worked to foster increased women and minority business participation. These efforts yielded more than a 30% participation for women and minority businesses in the $142 million Charleston Gaillard Center, alone.
In 2011, endorsed by The City Paper for mayor, Councilman Gregorie launched his second mayoral bid. Though he did not win in his mayoral bid, Councilman Gregorie’s leadership abilities did not go unnoticed by Mayor Joseph P. Riely. In 2013, Mayor Riley nominated Councilman Gregorie for Mayor Pro Tem. Councilman Gregorie’s colleagues on City Council unanimously elected him to the position.
Councilman Gregorie was Acting Mayor while Mayor Riley recuperated from surgery. He conducted City Council meetings and signed bills into law.
With a proven background of successful leadership, integrity, and a willingness to serve the people, Councilman Gregorie is poised to write a new chapter in the political history of Charleston. With your help and that of your fellow citizens, this November Councilman Gregorie’s dream – ONE Charleston, A City That Works For Everyone – can become a reality.
True to his call for more transparency of government, Councilman Gregorie introduced legislation that now provides Televised and Web Based City Council Meetings. As the only Councilman to introduce major legislation in over four years, he has also sponsored a number of resolutions including: a resolution to increase penalties for housing discrimination against families with children, the disabled and sexual orientation, a resolution for a Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness; an IPAD Ordinance to reduce the amount of paper waste in City hall; a resolution in support of Offshore Wind Energy Development to create approximately 20,000 jobs, and a Unity Day Resolution.
Gregorie currently serves as Chair of the License; Small Claims; and Sustainability Committees. He also presently serves on the Community Development, and Recreation Committees of council. In addition, he served on the selection committees for the architect of record, and construction manager for the Gilliard Center; and the contractor for the Horizon project, a proposed billion dollar mixed use development for District 6.
Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (Finance Committee); Horizon Foundation, (Voting member along with Mayor Riley); Low-country Housing and Economic Development Foundation; International African American Museum (IAAM); Trustee, Emanuel A.M.E. Church; Advisory Board; Intergovernmental Council (Town of James Island, City of Charleston, James Island PSD, Charleston County, and state legislative delegation; and Charleston Development Academy (CDA).
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