Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

City of Charleston Council District 12

Election for the City of Charleston Council District 12
  • Candidate picture

    Carol Jackson (NP) Retired Non-Profit Executive

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

Why do you want to represent the citizens of Charleston on City Council?

Currently the City has established subcommittees to review affordable housing and short-term rental ordinances. While separate issues, both relate to the growth and housing demands facing the City. What is your position on these issues? How should City Council address these issues?

The City recently adopted a 6-month moratorium for James Island, which included provisions to not allow new developments of more than four residential units per acre or larger than 15,000 SF. What is your position on moratoriums? Are they are good mechanisms to control growth issues or not?

How will you prioritize funding for recommendations within the City's Sea Level Rise Strategy Plan based on the many disparate needs within the community? Which specific projects do you see as most pressing to reduce the risk to homes and businesses?

What solutions do you propose to address traffic congestion and transportation concerns in Charleston? Do you support promotion of carpooling (e.g., incentivizing with reduced parking fees)? Please explain.

What is your position on a cruise ship terminal?

What is your position on providing more bicycle lanes in Charleston? If you support providing more bicycle lanes, what steps will you take to provide these lanes?

Do you support repeal of the Heritage Act to allow local governments to manage monuments on their public property in keeping with local community wishes?

Campaign Phone (703) 909-6166
Age 68
Education BA, College of William and Mary
Experience 40 Year Career in Non-profit management, achieving Executive Director positions; veteran local community activist, married 45 years, mother of two daughters, both public educators
Candidate Email
I come from a line of dedicated citizens who poured themselves out for their professions of farming, journalism, teaching and small business. In that upbringing, I learned from their example that “all government is local”. If we, as citizens, do not participate with our elected representatives in the creation and maintenance of our environment and quality of life where each resident can sustainably live, work, worship and play, then we give up our voice to evaluate the decisions by which we arIn my career and volunteer life, I have always worked with local officials to attain the values and goals I believed in for our community or those where I was sent to work. In my active retirement, I have become convinced that this is the time for me to give back as one who chooses to be a two-way communicator and strong voice, representing my District, my Island and my City. I intend to listen well, and work hard, alongside the dedicated citizens I believe deserve a representative who has walked in their shoes, and will work proactively every day to protect their quality of life and our city’s livability.
The last 15 years of my non-profit career, were spent in the pursuit of obtaining for our community, the full range of housing needs among the local workforce and growing segment of retirees. I have been volunteering for the last 18 months with a Charleston City Task Force, and, more recently, elected to the Board of Directors, of the newly formed Palmetto Community Land Trust. The Charleston region has a housing shortage and resulting loss of affordability that now requires the attention and resources from public, and especially important, private sector. Charleston City Council can take the lead to bring all local and state stakeholders to the table. I know there are proven public policy models in many urban growth regions across the nation to foster, lead, and support best practices and consortiums between regional employers, housing developers and neighborhoods that can work for our Charleston region. It’s time for the “shot gun” approach to achieving attainable housing solutions. We cannot afford the time or cost of a single solution to ensuring we have housing for the workforce and aging in place retirees we want to sustain in tri-county Charleston. We need the full range of solutions that will involve all sectors to play their part. One major new way we can each support more attainable housing Charleston: on November 7, vote YES for the new bond referendum that will create a $20 million dollar fund for the City to use as matching funds for developers who will agree to build housing that will be permanently priced to correspond to the incomes of entry level jobs and fixed incomes. I will also join my voice with the Mayor, City Housing staff and affordable housing partners to advocate for the passage by the Legislature of a 2017 Bill to give local governments the enabling right to require some housing affordability in developments approved for more dense building zones. Currently, Charleston or any locality does not have the authority to require housing of its market rate developers. As a City that is yet welcoming to developers generally, we need this tool in our housing toolkit to protect livability for our workforce and future generations.

I believe that Short Term Rentals, as a source of income to the property owner, must be regulated as any other business and zoning use enterprise. I am sorry to know of the “commercialization” of short term properties, where an owner buys a home purely for the purpose of renting it out short term. Subsequently, I support what I read, requiring owner occupation of any homes that will be allowed to be rented, as a result the draft Ordinance, now making its way out of the Task Force for public review and process for approval. I also believe Peninsula Hotel growth must be curbed and rerouted to West Ashley or other areas that can better sustain the economic opportunity and daily impact of hotel stays by visitors to our desirable region. In that vein, I support the Mayor’s peninsula hotel moratorium, and will vote for it, if it comes before Council again.
I supported and advocated for the James Island 6 month Moratorium. As a tool to redirect or stop a particular type of land use, I believe that moratoriums, especially if too long or open ended, do not accomplish the intended goals for such a move, and often engender unintended worse outcomes. In the case of James Island or a proposed peninsula hotel moratorium, the imposed Moratorium is a “time out” from enabling a particular type of land use for a particular purpose, so that the controlling government can create a better plan to reframe and redirect the type of land use that is not working for a variety of potential real time reasons. Land uses change over time as localities transform. It is the responsibility of elected officials to lead effectively during those periods of change, knowing that not all parties will be equally satisfied by any new outcomes determined at the end of a studied moratorium short term phase. I can support a particular moratorium as a vehicle to take us from where we are to where we want to be, defined as next steps action plans, premised by leaders agreeing to hold themselves accountable.
I believe that managing the prevention of the detrimental, community-degrading impact of expected sea level rise and resulting storm surges and ineffective drainage outflow is the most urgent crisis of our current day in Charleston, among all its various Boroughs and water-based lifestyle communities. I have been following the “water” topic routinely since experiencing the effects of the “1,000 year” flood. Houston just had double that amount of rain. I know we need to bake a bigger pie to create the resources we’ll need on an increasingly fast track. I would support the immediate hire or position upgrade of our part time Resiliency Director to fulltime and immediate full staffing of that department as the Mayor has proposed . After some deliberation, I can most likely support the appointment of a “flooding Czar” to work full time, all the time on this challenge that could undo and control all other plans for Charleston’s bright future. I support the immediate undertaking of raising the Low Battery wall, however the current leadership and neighborhoods will agree the road and parking should be best designed. We need to get on with that one. We also need the storm drain/pumping system to continue apace for Westend and then down to South Lockwood neighborhoods. Eastside must also be a priority. James Island needs its Comprehensive Drainage Study and Improvement Plan. This could be another good reason to take another time out on subdivisions or clusters until citizens know resulting drainage impacts for any particular property. I am heartened by the knowledge that the City’s Storm Water manual will soon be updated with best practices standards for all redevelopment and construction throughout the City. Most recently, as our region’s storms and flooding have dictated, I have connected the dots to public safety as a critical need factor in our city’s ability to best prevent or recover from flooding and its impacts on neighborhoods and roadways. As a result, I support the creation of a more comprehensive Public Safety Director, who would be charged with coordinating, planning and instituting preparedness actions and expected emergency responses to ensure we are ready and able to do the number one job of local government—protect our citizens, no matter the challenges that will arise.
I will go back to my earlier “shot gun” analogy when thinking about all tools and best practices that our region must implement to help with the debilitating traffic congestion we experience each day. To begin, I believe that the entire tri-county area needs to agree to shift our paradigm, as coordinated by COG and supported by all local governments, SCDOT and Statehouse. The Charleston Region, beginning at the 95/26 intersection is now an urban transportation zone. We can’t easily build new roadways. Urban areas use a variety of carrots and sticks to get single drivers out of their cars. We need all employers to champion and reward carpooling/ride sharing, telecommuting, staggered start times, etc etc. We need Bus Rapid Transit yesterday! Until that day, we need better and more reliable bus service that serves commuters in more neighborhoods—deploying by smaller shuttles to deliver riders to a stop for bigger, faster buses. We need commercial land owners with huge, underused parking lots or garages to allow commuters to park and ride. Traffic, housing and connectivity are economy-draining challenges for which local leaders must create a bully pulpit. Employers arriving in our region to reap the fruits of our labors must begin to shoulder a bigger piece of the burden to keep traffic moving and their workforce on the job. I’m not sure why it takes $750 mil to put an HOV on 526. Can’t we just convert one existing lane, so commuters will better understand the game plan—carpool or sit longer in single driver traffic. In other areas, they have satellite parking for commuters to add a passenger. Friendships have often been formed by “hitching” a commuter ride with a driver who was once a stranger.
I am sorry that the new terminal now proposed could not have been farther up river. I believe the engineers statements for that impossibility. I support the terminal to be moved, even as I know the neighborhoods near the Aquarium will feel the increased traffic and pedestrian impacts. I champion the continued growth record setting success of the container and commercial shipping terminals, so that I look forward to the day when the Port Authority can agree to end the era of favor to huge cruise ships in Charleston. I believe we will see that day.
I’m a supporter of Charleston Moves, and cheer on their efforts to get drivers out of their cars. I look forward to the plan to add a cantilever bike lane on the 17 Bridge—very recently, the Mayor told West Ashley and James Island Business Owners that there are Federal grant funds that will need matching. I support that effort. I support all efforts and collaborative funding measures to install multi-modal paths that are separate from road beds on fast travel through roads, such as Folly Road on James Island. I support designated bike lanes whenever roads are being widened or made safer. I will encourage neighborhoods to “adopt” a bike lane to keep it clear of debris—often a safety threat to dedicated cyclists who must skirt out of the path of a debris pile and enter the travel lane. We have a growing population of “come here’s” who are used to biking and walking for their daily errands and/or commutes. Younger generations of residents are encouraging multi-modal transportation. I will listen to agree.
Yes, I do support repeal of the Heritage Act, and other “Acts” and laws that keep control over policies and practices that need to remain in the control of the local communities that State government is created to support, not control. For example, last year, the Legislature tabled a new bill that, for the first time would have required any local jurisdiction to obtain permission before that locality voted to approve any ban on plastic bags or styrofoam. Regardless of your opinion on instituting such a ban, that authority needs to remain at the local level. The Statehouse needs to focus on roads! logo


All statements and videos are posted directly by the candidate, unedited by the League of Women Voters and do not express the views of the League. The League never supports or opposes candidates or political parties.