Twelve years in the past, Steve Benjamin made historical past by being elected as the primary Black Mayor of the Capital Metropolis in Columbia, South Carolina. Benjamin mentioned he was on a mission to make sure everybody felt that they belonged in Columbia.
Throughout his tenure in workplace, Benjamin steered Columbia by means of a disastrous flood, the onslaught of a worldwide pandemic, and the nation’s present focus of racism and social injustice, reviews Information 19.
Whereas he now not occupies a seat in Metropolis Corridor, his time as the primary Black mayor of Columbia “fills him with heat.” He retains a photograph as a memento on his workplace’s wall to remind him of his sacrifices that allowed him to turn out to be an elected official and is honored to put on the cufflinks of Reverend John Wilson.
Benjamin says he holds a duty to younger folks to function a task fashions to appreciate their desires are attainable. He’s happy that the work he did “[kept] the town collectively.”
“Taxes had been reduce citywide, 8 out of 11 years we completed with a price range surplus, we obtained Bull Avenue up and working; the most important redevelopment challenge in any downtown east of the Mississippi. Major Avenue is revitalized,” Benjamin mentioned to information station.
“There’s a lot that we did, however we’ve been working our approach by means of the best pandemic since 1918, the best financial disruption in many individuals’s lives since 1932, the best social unrest that folks have seen possibly since 1968, and we did all of it throughout the span of only a few years. We had the best pure catastrophe the town had ever been by means of in 2015; we misplaced 19 valuable lives,” he provides.
Benjamin believes disaster births leaders, and titles don’t create leaders. He says, “the non permanent areas we occupy in our skilled lives are simply that.”
Now, Benjamin seems to be ahead to spending time together with his household as a personal citizen and overseeing his profitable legislation agency. He’ll preserve neighborhood involvement on each native and nationwide ranges and is delighted to show at Harvard this Spring.
Benjamin desires residents to recollect him because the mayor who believed in Columbia and took initiatives in the perfect curiosity of the town’s residents.