Mayoral Forum to explore future of City of North Charleston

Posted By: Jordan Amaker Advocacy Updates, Community, General News,

A group of community-based organizations have announced plans to hold a public forum for mayoral candidates on September 26 that will explore issues related to equitable progress and growth including the topics of the local economy, the city’s growth and development, affordability, connectivity, and safety. Lowcountry Local First, AFFA Action (Alliance for Full Acceptance), Black Charleston Professionals, Charleston Moves, Hispanic Business Association, and Metanoia have invited all 10 mayoral candidates to participate and share their vision for the future of the city in a moderated discussion facilitated by city resident and business owner Brady Quirk-Garvan. The forum will be free and open to the public, and held on Tuesday, September 26, 5:30 – 7 p.m. at the Royal Missionary Baptist Church.

“It is vitally important that the next mayor of North Charleston, one of our state's largest, most diverse and rapidly growing cities, recognize, appreciate and support our multicultural community, aspiring entrepreneurs, and local businesses owners — from the urban manufacturers to the unique business districts,” explained Jacquie Berger, Executive Director at Lowcountry Local First. “We look forward to engaging a diverse group of stakeholders in exploring who the next mayor should be and provide a forum for the public to hear the candidates discuss themes related to equitable growth, safety, education and other key issues that impact the quality of life and the identity of North Charleston.”

"Our local LGBTQ+ community members share many of the same concerns as our partners in this forum.  From our perspective, this forum isn’t just about policy; this is about the very essence of our community — where everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity or background, deserves a seat at the table and a voice in shaping the future of our city,” said Chase Glenn, Executive Director of AFFA Action. “We look forward to hearing from the next Mayor of North Charleston!"

“This election is more important now than ever before. North Charleston’s next Mayor would understand the need of Economic Equity within communities, corporate operated entities, and government,” said Elana B. Pea, President and Founder of Black Charleston Professionals. “Their plan would include ways to support black entrepreneurs and black business leaders by providing opportunities, information dissemination, capital, and technological advancement training enabling fair and equal access for all.”

“Equitable mobility is inextricably linked to issues of housing, employment, financial stability, safety, and public and environmental health,” said Katie Zimmerman, Executive Director of Charleston Moves. “The next mayor of North Charleston will be leading the charge on these important policy issues that could elevate opportunity for all constituents, so learning about the candidates' stances makes for an empowered community.”

“This forum will be a great opportunity for the North Charleston community to engage with its leadership and work together in finding solutions to address the social and economic challenges a growing city faces, said Alex Bonetti, board president of the Hispanic Business Association. “We are honored to be participating.”

​“North Charleston is at a critical time in its growth when decisions made by the incoming Mayoral administration will make a real difference for families across the city in handling the challenges of community livability, housing affordability and economic opportunity,” said Rev. Bill Stanfield, CEO of Metanoia. “We are proud to be a co-sponsor of this forum to allow the candidates themselves to speak to these issues so that voters can be more informed in their choice of Mayor.”

WHAT: City of North Charleston Mayoral Forum

WHEN: Tuesday, September 26, 5:30 – 7 p.m.

WHERE: Royal Missionary Baptist Church: 4761 Luella Ave, North Charleston, SC 29405

HOW: This event is free and open to the public, but an online RSVP is preferred, where attendees can submit their candidate questions for consideration. Seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis and attendees are encouraged to arrive early to claim a seat. An RSVP does not guarantee a seat.