Without Change, Nothing Changes...
For 30 years the representation for Eastern Orangeburg County, a vital region of agriculture, commerce, and recreation has not changed. In that time the 1995 Allendale v South Carolina remained fully unadjudicated and ultimately set aside by the State Supreme Court in 2017. Local community school districts have been phased out and consolidated; new large facility schools have taken the place of elementary, middle/junior high, and separate high schools while the old facilities remain unused, not repurposed, and left to deteriorate in their towns. Tourism, vital to augment our agricultural economy, has gone unattended with our cultural and historic landmarks falling into disrepair. Our Santee State Park has reduced services over the past 30 years but has doubled the annual and daily park pass fees (increases affecting all state parks and users).
The 2020 Census has brought about redistricting changes because our state population grows by 500,000 persons every 10 years. Our rural towns and infrastructures have not seen much benefit from that growth. Many have declined in population or thrive on the pass through commerce of the federal interstate system. 2022 is a prime opportunity for citizens voice the need for change that addresses the value of small town South Carolina culture. I am not asking voters to change parties (yet) but am asking primarily Democratic and independent minded voters to break out of Straight Party Voting. It makes political life too easy for incumbents and dilutes your voice as a block of voters. It is time to step away from the allure of casting a ballot as fast as possible and voting for an incumbent; just because you always have. Has the representation over the past 30 years really been all that kind to our local towns and communities? Has your community grown or contracted in size and available services? It is easier to purchase groceries, hardware, and other necessities close to home or access county and state services?
The new District 95 must mark a turning point away from decline and focus on looking ahead to what could and should be. It is time for a new voice to advance our concerns, to work on meeting the needs in the local communities to stimulate renewal and meaningful growth. It is high time for our part of the midlands to exercise greater influence at the state level and secure the expertise and financial resources for enhancements that will benefit all our communities.
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