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Ben Pogue Announces Community Action Team



Press Release

Lawyer and Democratic Nominee for 9th Circuit Solicitor, Ben Pogue, today announced the members of his Community Action Team.

“I’ve promised to bring Major Reform Now to our Solicitor’s Office. Today we’re announcing a key part of that: our Community Action Team. Justice is more than putting people away in prison. That’s been nearly the only solution in our solicitors office– for violence, and for nearly every behavior we increasingly ciminalize, especially for people of color. Just locking people up doesn’t prevent crime or keep us safe. It needlessly costs us all money. The Community Action Team is a diverse group of individuals with expertise in key areas of our community that intersect with justice, like housing, transportation, education, and more–working to reduce crime and increase justice with programs that actually work. This innovative team is a part of our campaign and will become a permanent fixture of the Solicitor’s Office once I’m elected.”

Members of the Team Include:

Samuel Bellamy – Mentoring: Bellamy is an expert in mentorship and has received numerous awards in the Charleston Community for his work advocating for South Carolina Youth. He has a Master’s in Public Administration with a focus on Nonprofit Management.

Anjene (A.J.) Davis – Education: Davis is a committed community advocate, who dedicates his time and career to improving the quality of life to those around him. Davis is an expert in non- profit administration and social program creation.

Pastor Thomas Dixon – Formerly Incarcerated Individuals and Gun Violence: Pastor Dixon is a prominent political activist who works tirelessly to improve the lives of those living in the Charleston area. A former alcoholic, drug addict and ex- offender, Pastor Dixon is now a passionate community advocate who sits on the board of numerous organizations.

Regina Duggins – LGBTQ+ and Special Needs Education: Duggins is a recognized and admired community advocate who is a voice for the voiceless people in her community. A black lesbian woman from Brooklyn, NY. Regina was born the youngest of 6 to a father murdered when she was 3.

Rhett Dunaway – Criminal Justice Policy: Dunway is an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston. He is an expert in the workings of the Public Defender process who retired as the Deputy Public Defender of Charleston County after 23 years of service.

Grant Gilmore – Transportation: Gillmore is an expert in Progressive Urban Design, Heritage Management, and African Diaspora among other studies. He is the Director of the Historic Preservation and Community Planning Program and holds the Addlestone Chair in Historic Preservation at the College of Charleston.

Tory J. Liferidge – Housing: Liferidge was born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in Moncks Corner, SC. He graduated from Duke University with a BA in Sociology and minors in Business and African American Studies and then got his Master of Divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC where he studied Urban Ministry.

Rep. Krystle Mathews – Legislation: Rep. Mathews is a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, representing the 117th District. Elected in 2018, she is on the Medical, Military, Public, and Municipal Affairs Committee.

Diane Salazar-Guzman – Hispanic/Latinx Community: Salazar Guzman is a dedicated advocate for the Latino community in the Charleston area. From her work with the legislative delegation in the 90’s to her work as a translator and notary today, she gives a voice to those who do not have English as their first language.

Tisa Whack – Victim Advocacy: Whack is a Community Activist thrust into the role of advocate and activist after the death of her 23-year-old son in 2015. She is the co-founder of We Are Their Voices, a non-profit organization that focuses on the victims and survivors of gun violence.

Pogue is engaged in one of the most competitive races in South Carolina this cycle. A race that has not been competed in by a Democrat in over a decade, the 9th Circuit, which includes all of both Charleston and Berkeley Counties, was won by in 2018 by the entire Democratic state-wide ticket (Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Attorney General).

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