Dorothy Dowe, the Democratic candidate for the council’s at-large seat, has been investing in Greenville since moving here three decades ago. She’s started two businesses and has been active with her children’s schools, her family’s church and numerous civic organizations. Dowe believes her next role should be public servant. “We are at a tipping point of some kind. And to manage that going forward because I love Greenville so much, I do want the A-team on board. There’s no doubt in my mind that for this seat, I’m the A-team,” Dowe says.
Greenville’s biggest issue? Affordable housing
“I like to define it because what’s affordable to one person and another person and another person varies obviously, dependent on their income. I define affordable housing as $15,000 to $55,000 of income a year, gross, for the family … That is the range set by the Greenville Housing Trust Fund.”
Who could benefit from affordable housing?
- Service industry: “Service workers, especially in the downtown area, are challenged both with parking costs – and that’s if they have a core transportation into the city – and then how to make a livable wage if they are paying for their parking.”
- Teachers: “You’ve heard of the teacher shortage crisis; the city has a role to play in providing affordable housing and that can only help our school district recruit and retain teachers if they can find an affordable place to live.”
- Law enforcement: “So here are some of our most treasured employees of the city, our first responders and police officers. They cannot afford to live in the city and quite frankly, who would not want to have a police officer living beside them.”
“Now let’s talk about one more group of people that haven’t come up and those are the people who have lived their entire life here in the city, and are being displaced for various reasons, one of which is when their property taxes [get too high] that … forces them to move.”
How can the city help?
“The city, to me, can play a role in making sure that homeowners are well informed on what their home is worth, what their home is truly worth … So if someone wants to sell their home, let’s make sure they’re getting a fair offer on it.”
“If someone is in their home, and the house is falling into disrepair, and they don’t have the economic means to repair it, the city and philanthropic organizations have very good programs, they can fix up those homes at no cost to the owner and allow them to safely stay in.”
Enforcing building codes
“Speaking about people living in dilapidated conditions, no one deserves to live in abject squalor. We have building codes in Greenville [that] need to be enforced. It is an issue of having enough staff to enforce this. Same with homes that have been bought by people who don’t even live in Greenville, who perhaps live 3,000 miles away.”
“Championing” the issues
“It’s one thing to vote for funding for Greenlink. It’s another thing to be informed on Greenlink and be a champion for it. It’s one thing to support the Greenville 2040 master plan. It’s another thing to be digging deep and understanding what the voice of the people is. And I contend unequivocally that I am the best candidate on the ballot to be the champion for the issues that I’m running on. It’s not just a vote, it’s being a champion for that objective.”
“I think the city should certainly be negotiating to ensure developers afford protected bikeways, afford walkways, do not shut down our sidewalks during construction … As we develop we have to remember we’re developing in a community and the community deserves the right to still function.”
To learn more about Dorothy Dowe, go to http://www.dorothydowe.com/.