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Change Is Coming To North Area - Are We Ready?
5/6/2015 4:01:31 PM

Matese Lecque
By Barney Blakeney

“A Change Is Gonna Come” are the lyrics to one of the late soul singer Sam Cook’s most popular ballads. Are local residents in the mood for change?

In North Charleston the development of a new S.C. State Port Authority facility at the former Charleston Naval Base signaled change for communities on the city’s southern end that either meant catastrophe or prosperity.

The 2006 $4 million award came from the S.C. State Port Authority to seven North Charleston predominantly Black communities, the Lowcountry Alliance for Model Communities (LAMC). The communities would directly be impacted by the construction of a new port facility at the former Charleston Naval Base.

Liberty Hill resident Matese Lecque said LAMC represented an opportunity for change that ultimately has turned into a dog and pony show which yielded few benefits to residents. Change is coming to the centrally located community on Montague Avenue in North Charleston that’s just 15 minutes from points downtown, West Ashley and East of the Cooper River, she said.

Change is coming, but if Black folks want that change to be in their favor, they must vote. Black voters have elected representation that has been in place, in many cases, over two decades. The people have become complacent and their representatives have become complacent. That doesn’t add up to change, Lecque said.

Some local residents are pointing to several new faces in the political arena as signs of change. Sen. Marlon Kimpson who was elected to represent Dist. 42 almost two years ago is seen as one of those new faces on a changing horizon.

House Dist. 113 Rep. J. Seth Whipper says Kimpson is joining some veteran legislators who always have been about change in an overwhelming situation. Representatives David Mack (House Dist. 109) and Rep. Robert Brown (House Dist. 116) are among those veteran legislators who hold key positions on committees and subcommittees that influence legislation, he said.

But one Charleston resident said change has to start at the community level. “We can’t blame our legislators and elected officials when things don’t seem to change. We must blame ourselves,” she said. “When a child dies in our community we should ask ourselves what could I have done to prevent that death.”

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