I met Andy Smith when I moved to Columbia in 2006. He was a native son returning to South Carolina from Los Angeles. His plan was to bring some fresh ideas to the Nickelodeon, in particular, and to Columbia, in general. His enthusiasm was infectious then, and it still is today. His ideas are just that much bigger now.
In many ways, I don’t think 2006 me would recognize 2016 Columbia, and I say that with all of the affection in the world. Because Andy worked hard to cultivate and enrich an arts community that was ready to grow, and he’s a big part of the really good change that’s happened here. The potential for that change to continue and expand is key to sustaining growth and progress in Columbia. Andy's plans to keep our arts community at the heart of economic development and public education in the city is the type of innovation in city planning that many of us have been hoping for.
Andy also commits his time and resources to providing opportunities for and encouraging young folks in the city to participate in the arts and take leadership roles in creating and sustaining change. And on that note, he is a strong advocate for progressive social change and racial and gender equality.
I think it goes without saying that Andy has my full endorsement for city council, but I’ll say it anyway.
Meeghan Kane teaches history at Benedict College.