Lake City mayoral candidate seeks unity in the community
LAKE CITY, S.C. – Lake City native Yamekia Robinson said her campaign for mayor is based on striving for unity in the community and a better quality of life.
And although she has no prior governmental experience, Robinson said, she feels like the people of Lake City want to see a change and she is ready to give it to them.
Robinson was an advocate for residents of the former Wedgefield Mobile Home Park in Lake City. The residents were forced to move from the property last year after the land was purchased by the Greater Lake City Community Development. She said that experience sparked some of her interest in running for mayor of Lake City.
“It kind of brought me toward driving my passion (for) wanting to help people,” Robinson said. “The passion (that) pretty much motivated me to run for office is the passion I have for helping my city and helping the people of my city become better together.”
Some of the focuses of Robinson’s campaign include affordable housing, youth engagement and redevelopment of communities.
“Just going through and actually seeing the lack of affordable housing in the city, I know it’s a big issue, not just locally, but statewide and nationwide,” Robinson said. “But you know, you have to start somewhere. So I want to start locally here in Lake City and hopefully to bring better housing and more affordable housing to our city, to our citizens and constituents of Lake City.”
But she doesn’t want to just stop at providing more affordable housing. Robinson said she wants people to actually get the resources they need to be able to get into the housing and work their way to home ownership. To make this happen, she said, she would like to work with the Lake City City Council, residents and the housing authority.
“Another part of my platform is youth involvement and activities and engagement,” Robinson said. “Our youth pretty much screams at us. They need more things to do in our city.”
If children in Lake City are not involved sports, it is easy for them to get into trouble, Robinson said. Some children have told Robinson that they would like to have things such as a bowling alley, theatar or city pool. Those are all things Robinson said the city can work toward.
And in order to keep the youth in Lake City after graduation, Robinson said, the city needs to focus on economic development.
“We have a lot of young people that say when they graduate, they’re ready to go,” Robinson said. “But when they see what the city can offer, the opportunities the city can offer, maybe it will help a lot of our younger people want to stay and to continue to help the city grow. So we have to put forth something as well with that too.”
Although revitalizing downtown Lake City is a part of economic development, “let’s not forget about our community, our people that are already here,” Robinson said.
“Let’s work on those communities and making things better for our people that are here because that’s what’s going to strengthen our city and strengthen our growth,” Robinson said. “So Robinson Campaign is really on strengthening our communities and empowering our families. And that’s going to produce growth in the city.”
Robinson said she agrees with Martin Luther King Jr. when he said everyone has the responsibility to make life better for others.
“We should all be concerned and compassionate about the next person in our communities and in our city,” Robinson said. “So I feel like if we communicate better with each other, work better with each other, even strive better with each other that we can see the city grow more.”
Voter turnout in the last election was down in Lake City, Robinson said.
“Even if you don’t vote for me, whoever you vote for, you just need to vote,” Robinson said. “Voting is your voice. That’s a way that you can stand for something, voice what you believe in.”
Robinson, a 1997 graduate of Lake City High School, is a lead certified pharmacy technician at KJ’s pharmacy in Lake City. She is a writer for Our Neighborhood Newspaper, an active member of the community and of Hickory Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Williamsburg County.
She said she understand that it’s the mayor’s responsibility to keep the city clean, safe and growing.
“I’m ready to serve the citizens of Lake City to the best of my ability and with the compassion I have for all,” Robinson said.