Vision for Charleston
Our hometown is growing. Yet, because of a ground-breaking commitment for historic preservation and a respect for the city’s cultural heritage, Charleston enjoys a reputation as the most authentic Southern city in America.
In time, however, uncontrolled growth could threaten what our city has become. The unique character of Charleston is brilliantly displayed in the city’s remarkable architectural landscape. As we grow, we must not lose sight of the need to control traffic congestion, while being people friendly and environmentally conscious. I will protect the “Charleston brand” while advancing sustainable urban growth, built on the core principles of livable and safe neighborhoods. With a new politic of citizen input, we can move excitedly toward a future of ONE CHARLESTON: A City That Works For Everyone.
As we continue to grow, we must address the challenges of drainage and flooding, improve streets and sidewalks and maintain dependable sanitation and recycling service. We will achieve these goals through a conservative fiscal policy guided by priority spending while preserving Charleston’s AAA credit rating.
Charleston’s continued growth and national and international standing will depend on our ability to rapidly improve our schools. As Mayor, I want to build a world-class public education system as this is critical for the financial and civic health of our city. We must ensure that our citizens, young and old, are prepared to participate in a democratic society so that they can seize new jobs and business opportunities.
Public safety – the number one priority – is an essential element to sustain and improve the quality of life for all Charlestonians and our visitors. We must re-educate our citizens to assist police in making their communities safer while providing our police officers with the proper crime solving and prevention tools necessary to expand their public safety capacity within a growing community. We must work to ensure that our Fire Department regains accreditation and provide the department with whatever is necessary to bring this to fruition.
Charleston’s vested projects will proceed as planned. They include: the West Ashley Senior Center, extension of the River Walk, the International African American Museum, drainage, the Horizon Project, Magnolia Redevelopment, West Ashley Future Redevelopment and Upper Peninsula/ Morrison Drive redeployment.
My vision is not limited by neighborhood lines or geographic barrier, or by the city limits. As a municipality, we cannot operate in a vacuum. We have a symbiotic relationship with the governments in the tri-county. We must also think globally to make important local and regional decisions. We must be inclusive in our approach. I will be relentless in the pursuit of solutions to regional growth challenges.
Charleston’s economic prosperity presents us with one of our greatest challenges; how to make Charleston an affordable community in which to live, work and raise families. This is where my experience working for HUD is so valuable. Regionally, I will advocate expanding affordable housing choices in opportunity-rich neighborhoods by identifying incentives to encourage responsible development of new housing, businesses and job creation.
As the region experiences tremendous growth over the next decade, transportation and land use will remain top priorities. We want that growth to reinforce the unique physical qualities of this place we call home. We must provide greater protections across the region for our natural resources and rural lands. We must become serious about the transportation infrastructure needed to serve a region of 1 million residents. We must advocate for better public transportation that uses new technologies to build a rapid transit system, in order to connect all of our residents in every area of our city. We need a regional rail network to connect Charleston with other cities in the southeast. In the short run, we must:
- Build the best regional plan in the country
- Realistically fund public transit
- Complete a road network
- Extend the urban growth boundary to include all counties in the region.
Long term, we must build a passenger rail system that connects urban centers in South Carolina and beyond to include Charlotte, Atlanta and Savannah.
This nonpartisan mayoral election is not about Republican or Democrat. This race is about serving YOU, the people of this city.
This election cannot be about false promises. As a City Councilman, my track record of proposed legislation and efforts shows that my heart is with YOU.
Charleston is on the brink of a new era of amazing possibilities. We can make history in November. I will work hard to serve this ENTIRE city. West Ashely – I hear you! John’s Island – I hear you! James Island – I hear you! Downtown – I hear you! Eastside - I hear you! Westside – I hear you! The Neck – I hear you! Daniel – Island – I hear you! Cainhoy – I hear you! And I will do all I can to help and serve you!
We will be: One Charleston – A City That Works For Everyone