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County Council, February 23

Serving the underserved communities
County may study some suggestions by Mr. Kwadjo Campbell
Warwick Jones

It was a light agenda for all of the committee meetings yesterday. Appointments took up much of the time of the Finance Committee but it was a presentation to the Economic Development Committee that took up most of the time.

The presentation, "Economic stimulus for the the underserved communities", was made by Mr. Kwadjo Campbell, principal of JC & Associates. Mr. Campbell was a member of the City of Charleston Council for a number of years.

Mr. Campbell noted a number of communities that were underserved and the need for the provision of housing, employment opportunities, and better education. In regard to the latter, he specifically referred to job training and trades. He also spoke at length of the need for affordable housing and suggested some means of facilitating its creation – special overlay zones, an affordable housing land bank, inclusionary zoning, and a County referendum to approve an Affordable Housing bond issue. He also noted the County’s plan to develop 995 Morrison Drive and opined that as the development will have a negative impact on the East side Community, the County adopt some mitigating plan.

Mr. Campbell also suggested that the County consider spending $1 million a year for 10 years to encourage African American tourism.

Council member Pryor thought that staff ought to look at the suggestions presented and assess their feasibility and worth. Chairman Rawl seconded the motion. Committee members Moody and Sass thought that there were entities in the community already doing some of the things that Mr. Campbell suggested. But they indicated they were agreeable to the motion that the matter be moved to the Finance Committee. The Economic Development Committee unanimously voted to have the issue of staff review considered by the Finance Committee.

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