By Barney Blakeney
S.C. House Dist. 113 incumbent Rep. Marvin Pendarvis has been busy during his first two terms in office. As the state wreaths in the grasp of the coronavirus pandemic, Pendarvis has maintained a focus on addressing constituent concerns in that regard and a keen eye on other issues of equal importance. He wants to continue those efforts. That’s why he’s seeking a third term and will be on the June 9 Democratic primary ballot.
Pendarvis’ work as a state house representative on behalf of constituents began when he was elected in 2017 to fill the unexpired term of former Dist. 113 Rep. J. Seth Whipper. A product of North Charleston public schools – graduating from Garrett Academy in 2007, the University of South Carolina and later University of South Carolina School of Law graduate said, “The time is now. This is an opportunity to step up and be a part of the movement. This is my opportunity to do that. I’m ready,” he said.
Pendarvis won the seat representing the massive House Dist. 113 which extends from North Charleston’s Park Circle community to Lincolnville in Dorchester County in the 2017 general election. He’s utilized experiences and skills learned to bring fresh ideas about housing (an issue he views as a top priority in Dist. 113), economic inclusion and job security to the table. And he will apply those skills to developing legislation about public healthcare, childcare and education that reflect the core values of South Carolinians as the state’s population continues to grow, he said.
“Aside from the politics, this is my home,” Pendarvis said. “North Charleston gave me the foundation that got me to where I am. Every decision I make in Columbia is informed by my life experience. I’m grounded by what the people think and I have an obligation to address their concerns,” he said.
Drawing upon his belief in transformation through collaboration, Pendarvis says he will continue the work that yet has to be done – navigating a path through redistricting, insuring established Opportunity Zones benefit residents as much as investors and that legislation addressing health and nutrition serve to eradicate food deserts.
In a recent statement to his constituents Pendarvis said, “I pray that you and your loved ones are well during these troubling times. Whether you are staying home or are on the job as an essential worker, know that I am fighting for you, that we will get through this together and that our community will become stronger because of it.”
As part of his fight, Pendarvis recently released a newsletter to constituents outlining information pertinent to the June 9 Democratic primary and vital information with regard to his efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic in the state.
In the newsletter he noted: Any person wishing to vote in this primary must be registered no later than Sunday, May 10; If eligible for absentee voting, please be sure to register for absentee voting by Saturday, May 9; Eligibility includes those who are over the age of 65 and those whose employment inhibits them from going to the polls on June 9; and the State has not deemed COVID-19 as a justification for universal absentee voting* COVID-19.
Also he noted: in March with Rep. Wendell Gilliard he wrote a letter to the S.C. Supreme Court requesting a statewide pause to evictions due to the outbreak of COVID-19; Evictions and foreclosures have been halted until May 15. On April 29 Pendarvis was appointedto the Agriculture and Natural Resources COVID-19 Response Committee.
“I look forward to continuing to serve each of you in this new role and finding new ways to provide essential relief to South Carolinians in this troubling time,” he said. “Now, more than ever, it is essential that we listen to our medical professionals and scientists and work to protect our most vulnerable community members.”
Pendarvis and his wife Quasha just welcomed into the world on April 20 their newborn son, Marvin Rashad Pendarvis Jr. His son is a big part of the reason Pendarvis wants to continue his service in the S.C. Legislature. He hopes those who also want a brighter future for their loved ones will vote for him in the June 9 Democratic primary. He invites anyone interested in learning more about his work and platform to visit www.marvinpendarvis.com or follow him on Twitter @Rep_Pendarvis.