Presidential candidate Tom Steyer visits Charleston

Presidential candidate Tom Steyer visits Charleston
July 12 14:51 2019 Print This Article

Democrat Presidential candidate Tom Steyer visited Burke High School in Charleston Friday. He had a sit-down conversation with Charleston County School Board member Kevin Hollinshead about education and issues facing the African-American community. The California billionaire has pledged to spend $100 million of his own money on the campaign.

Hollinshead offered that the bureaucrats who run the school districts often neglect schools in predominantly poor and black neighborhoods, noting that all nine of the schools in Charleston County School District labeled as failing by the South Carolina Department of Education have mostly black student populations. He recently led a group of retired educators and community leaders on a tour of Atlanta schools which are using innovative methods to improve high-poverty student outcomes. He said, “The people of Atlanta have made up their minds that they have to educate the poor.”

Steyer agreed with Hollinshead on the need for more student apprenticeships in the skilled trades. He said, “Not everyone is going to be a computer programmer. We have to train young people for the skilled jobs.” Hollinshead noted that his father was a plumber and was able to send all six of his children to college.

While Steyer made his billions in the financial services industry, he views corporations as an enemy of low-income and minority citizens. He told Hollinshead, “We’ve got to break the stranglehold corporations have on our government.” Steyer contended that there has been no income growth since President Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, even though statistics show that medium household income reached its highest level in 2018, indexing for inflation.

Steyer, one of more than 20 Democrats who seek the party’s nomination, showed contempt for President Donald Trump, calling him a “skilled agitator.” He said Democrats underestimated Trump in 2016. Steyer has funded an advertising campaign calling for Trump’s impeachment.