Salley, Alvarez, Hawes and Lebron seek to fill Rice City Council seat


Four candidates are running for the District 5 seat on the Spartanburg City Council, currently held by mayoral candidate Jerome Rice.

Sevi lvarez

Years in Spartanburg. 2.5

Age: 38

Occupation: Former accountant, current stay-at-home dad

Wanted office: City Council District 5

Sevi Alvarez, candidate for District 5 City Council

Main issues facing the people you will represent:

The coronavirus pandemic is currently in everyone’s mind. I support the wearing of a mask, including by the vaccinated, and I encourage everyone to get vaccinated if they haven’t already. I agree with the steps the city has already taken and will continue to support the wearing of masks by city employees and implement virtual solutions where possible. I would love to work with the county and make sure our schools get the support they need to make things as safe as possible for students, teachers and staff.

Beyond that, the growth of Spartanburg and what it will mean for the residents of District 5 is something we need to manage as a city. I want to make sure that the most vulnerable of our fellow citizens are not left behind and that we use our growth to lift them up rather than push them back. I think the recently released Global Plan is a great model to build on, and it’s important to keep the focus on fairness in mind in everything we do.

What are your plans if you are elected?

If I am elected, I intend to focus primarily on two issues that I constantly hear about when I speak to my constituents.

First, I want our public transportation system to be expanded and improved. We paid for a study on this specific topic two years ago, and I would like the plan to finally be implemented. I will fight for a seven-day bus service, buses that run at least until midnight every day, and more lines. I believe that a mobile population is the one best suited to adapt to the changes that will inevitably come to Spartanburg as it continues to grow, and to that end I will strive to secure at least some of the funds from the American Rescue Plan applied to the achievement of these objectives.

Second, I want to get developers to build more grocery stores. Almost all of District 5 meets the definition of a food desert, and that is unacceptable to me. I hope to use City Councilor Littlejohn’s experience in attracting developers, as well as the imminent rebirth we are set to see in the Highland region, to attract at least one developer to open a grocery store, ideally somewhere along Reidville Road.

Why should residents vote for you?

First, my experience as a professional accountant makes it easier for me to read and interpret a budget than most. My Masters in Accounting demonstrates my work ethic and hopefully shows that I will do whatever it takes to raise the people of Spartanburg.

I’m also a stay-at-home parent so I consider myself an expert at multitasking, organizing schedules, making plans and adjusting those plans on the fly when necessary. My job gives me the ability to be there for the people of Spartanburg when they need me: I plan to have regular office hours two or three times a week if logistics allow, when any of my constituents can come talk to me, as long as they don’t worry about my baby being in the room with us. I also plan to hold several public meetings in my district throughout the year. I will take time for my constituents.

Finally, growing up in Charlotte, I saw with my own eyes what happens when a city starts to develop very quickly and there is no one to stand up for the vulnerable. I believe this gives me a unique perspective that will be helpful in combating gentrification here at home.

In summary, I have the ability, the passion, the energy, the platform and the time to be a very effective city councilor for the people of Spartanburg, and I am calling for your vote on November 2nd.

Janie C. Salley

Years in Spartanburg: 44

Age: 68

Occupation: Retirement

Desired office: City Council District 5

Janie Salley, District 5 City Council Candidate

Main issues facing the people you will represent:

Housing (owners away; sidewalks), Transportation (shelters and bus routes), rubbish, Morgan Square closure (village concept), Health (COVID)

What are your plans if you are elected?

I intend to work with my constituents to identify their concerns.

I would help inform our citizens about the resources available.

Why should residents vote for you?

Having worked in the financial industry for thirty years, I can read and analyze financial statements and budgets. In addition, I would encourage customer service training.

Terrance Hawes

Years in Spartanburg:30

Age: 30

Occupation: Contractor

Desired office: City Council District 5

Terrance Hawes, District 5 City Council Candidate

Main issues facing the people you will represent:

1. Lack of equitable access to public transit, high quality education, affordable housing, pharmacies, healthy food and economic opportunities.

2. Public Safety – Rising crime rate and declining neighborhood conditions.

3. Lack of diversified and affordable housing stock.

What are your plans if you are elected?

1. Work to diversify the housing stock and implement developer responsibility to advocate for affordable housing and displacement-free redevelopment. Long-term residents should be able to benefit from community improvements and not be burdened by them.

2. Work to reduce gun violence and crime rates by improving crime prevention strategies, strengthening police-community relations and improving neighborhood conditions. (Street lights, green spaces, houses, sidewalks, parks and more). Poor neighborhood conditions and the community’s mistrust of the police and local government lead to higher crime zones.

3. We will review the city budget and advocate for sustainable funding to ensure all residents have equitable access to the resources they need to strive for. Such as improved high quality public transportation system, education, programming, medicine, healthy food and economic opportunities.

Why should residents vote for you?

I have decided to run as a candidate for Spartanburg, District 5 City Council to advocate and support the needs of our District 5 community and our growing city. City Council is a seat of easement and I am convinced that together we can serve to move Spartanburg forward with a strategy that involves the entire community of Spartanburg. We will fight to provide resources to communities in need and ensure that no one is left behind during Spartanburg’s rapid growth. We hope to gain your support!

Chance Lebron

Chance Lebron, District 5 City Council Candidate

Years in Spartanburg: 16

Age: 30

Occupation: Notary / Wedding officiant

Desired office: City Council District 5

Main issues facing the people you will represent:

Homelessness, affordable housing, cheap pharmacies, groceries, 24/7 transportation, community outreach, gun violence, lack of businesses for minorities in downtown Spartanburg.

What are your plans if you are elected?

My plans are to keep minority businesses in the city. Also, make minorities a priority when presenting plans to the board. I want to see the data and connect with local stakeholders.

Why should residents vote for you?

I am a resident of the fifth arrondissement. . Member of POST (Protecting Our Stolen Treasures), graduated in 2020 from Spartanburg Citizens Academy and member of the main branch of Spartanburg NAACP. I currently sit on the Stormwater Appeal Board under the leadership of Jay Squires. I am a local community activist. I am currently serving my second term as a member of the Board of Directors. My community service is a notary / wedding officiant. I worked on Brandon Brown’s congressional campaign. I was also employed by Jaime Harrison’s Voter Protection Hotline in 2020.

Contact Bob Montgomery at [email protected]

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