Name: Jerome Rice Jr.
Past political experience: Spartanburg City Council, 12 years
How do you define equity and how does that translate into how you approach financial, programmatic, and policy decisions?
Equity is about being fair. If two men are walking down the street and one man doesn’t have on shoes, get him a pair of shoes. I look at it as if one size doesn’t fit all. Financial: Piggly Wiggly; Programmatic: CC Woodson or TK Gregg
What can the city do to make downtown a more welcoming environment for Black and Brown residents, visitors, and entrepreneurs?
Ask the Black and Brown residents what they would like to see downtown.
As the city continues to attract economic development, what proactive steps can the city take to protect neighborhoods from gentrification?
The passing of the Healing, Reconciliation and Unity Resolution was put in place for just such events. Also making sure our homeowners and renters are educated on this topic.
List three steps the city can take to help combat gun violence.
Spartanburg has been a place immigrant and refugee communities have contributed to shaping since the 1950s. And Spartanburg attracts very high rates of foreign direct investment. How can Spartanburg leverage its strengths in a global future?
We continue to be a welcome place for all citizens young and old, and I enjoy it when you see people of different cultures and backgrounds talking and conversing. We should be preparing our children for a truly global world.
How should the city move forward with public transit and the development of complete streets and pedestrian safe zones within its footprints, and what opportunities do see for collaboration with the county outside of the city limits?
Those conversations are going on as we speak. We have a comprehensive plan for our transit system, which includes longer hours, more days and expanding into the county.
What measure(s) should the city put in place to continue combatting COVID-19, and should the city use its resources to help ease the burden on schools within the city limits?
I feel the city has been a leader in our decisions concerning COVID. We have mandated masks where it was possible and continue to communicate with DHEC and Spartanburg Regional. As for the schools, they have a governing body that makes decisions for the schools, but we can continue those conversations about best practices.
Our work is a cycle. Enter anywhere, engage anywhere that speaks to you. At the center, and part of every endeavor is the purpose that binds us: thriving in the community.