Chris Salley- South Carolina – State House District 7
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
Born and raised in Anderson County, I’m a proud product of our local public schools, where I graduated top of my class in 2011. Following graduation, I went on to study Finance/Economics in New York before pursuing a short career in Banking.
In 2016, I pivoted to public service as a political and nonprofit fundraiser before deepening involvement in my community. My path of fundraising for a individual nonprofits and candidates led to strengthening nonprofits across the country, ultimately leading me back to my hometown and serving with organizations like the local Young Democrats, Sunrise Movement, or Climate Reality Project.
While professionally pursuing a career in startup sales, beyond serving my community, I also pursue hobbies as varied as skydiving, exploring blockchain technology, and practicing sustainable agriculture techniques on my farm.
Why are you running?
I’m running for office because I was tired of seeing offices go uncontested in my area. It feels like a silent end to Democracy when you see people in your community (and others like it) have no option to vote for in November–especially after an especially distasteful legislative session.
The South Carolina House has followed a stereotypical agenda of hate, putting political issues above the people of our state. I decided to stand up for my community and run to give the people of my district a candidate focused on addressing the actual issues keeping us from getting ahead.
What are the 3 biggest issues facing your community?
1. An Economy that doesn’t work for everyone
2. An education system that fails both teachers and students
3. Neglect of our environment and the impact on our community (unreliable access to clean water)
How do you propose to solve those problems?
1. Raising the minimum wage to $15, and other pro-worker policies
2. I support an education system where everyone can thrive, which includes:
– Paying our teachers more
– Financial Education in K-12 curriculum
– Opposition to any anti-LGBTQ legislation
3. Pledge to fight for a right to clean water for every South Carolinian
– Prioritizing appropriations for water infrastructure over advancing political causes
– Tackle climate change head on with a pledge to transition to 100% clean energy by 2050
What is your stance on environmental and climate concerns that are facing your community?
Climate Change is my top long-term concern for my state, but I do not believe the South Carolina Legislature is taking the threat of Climate Change as seriously as needed (as reflected in policy inaction). I believe that it is time to support a bold vision for our state’s future with a pledge to transition to 100% clean energy by 2050 supported by legislation such as tax incentives. Additionally I think it is imperative that we integrate a more sustainable land use policy so that local economic development does not come at the long term health of our communities.
What commonsense gun safety measures would have the most impact on your community?
I believe common-sense gun safety measures like expanding background checks, implementing red flag laws, and closing loopholes such as the Charleston Loophole and the Boyfriend Loophole would allow us to begin preventing the rash of gun violence incidents that continues to plague headlines across our state.
How would criminal justice reforms impact your community?
Statewide, I support the legalization of medicinal and recreational cannabis along with the expunging of any related non-violent convictions which would provide a way forward for members of my community for possessing something legal in other parts of the country.
How would you work to protect a woman’s reproductive health?
I stand behind a woman’s right to choose 100%. Given the personal nature of women’s reproductive health decisions, I think the government has no right interfering with a woman’s relationship with her doctor (and their ability to make the best decision in the given circumstances).
What measures would you advocate to ensure that your constituents have the right to vote?
I would oppose the continued restrictions on voters the SC Legislature has sought to push forward after 2020, while actively making it easier for SC citizens to vote. I support measures such as automatic voter registration for 18 year old’s, ensuring adequate access to polling locations (both early and Election Day voting), expanding early and absentee voting, and making election day a state holiday so more people have the day off work.
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