2018 After negotiating the Opportunity Zone designations for the remediated Brownfield/Superfund sites for Renewable Energy projects, I’m currently leading the implementation phase for a Photovoltaic Aquaponics on the Brownfield Textile Mill site. The Solar Farm project is a collaborative partnership with Solvay Chemicals to create a Community Benefits Solar Farm by removing the carbon footprint of the chemical company while providing utility rebates to residents for the life of the Solar Farm. The former Superfund Fertilizer plants proposed reuse is a Renewable Manufacturing Facility.
2016 I sponsored The Renewable Energy Tax Credits Bill that became law in SC to entice developers to convert National Priority Listed sites of EPA into Solar Farms or Geothermal projects with a $2.5 Million State incentive for Renewable Energy redevelopment.
2016 I Introduced Resolutions that passed at the National Black Caucus of State Legislators for Chemical Safety, and 2019 as a former member the Equitable and Just Platform for Climate and Environmental Justice that was used as model legislation for Legislators across the Country.
2015 Co –Sponsored Legislation that saved SC State University from losing its Accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
2014 As Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, I led the effort to enroll over 118,000 South Carolinians for Health Care coverage in less than a 30 days for the Affordable Care Act. Due to the efforts Secretary Sebelius reached out to congratulate the exceeded goal of 15,000 set by Gov. Nikki Haley.
2008 Co-Sponsored the revision of the Brownfields/Voluntary Cleanup programs liability protection to parties conducting response actions.
2007 I introduced the 1st Environmental Justice Bill in SC that became Law in a Republican controlled legislature that didn’t go through the normal committee process, meaning it went without reference because there was no opposition against the EJ Bill because members saw the economic impact of the ReGenesis project in Spartanburg, SC.
2007 I convened the first of a series all SC State Agency meetings at the State Capital during that session as a result of the passage of the SC EJ Bill to replicate the methodology of the Federal IWG on the State level to address multiple issues affecting vulnerable communities in SC. This spurred changes in SCDHEC’s Community Engagement/Involvement, Programs, and Grants. Four statewide pilots were created out of our statewide EJ listening sessions that were documented by volunteer students from Clemson University. EPA Region 4 later created the EJ Academy after this successful outcome. A string of Directors at SCDHEC have credited the ReGegenesis model for influencing how their agency still unto this day involves communities in there public engagement and collaborative problem solving ideology.
2007 EPA created the Collaborative Problem Solving Grant program and DVD based on the ReGenesis model, I contracted with EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice to work with their Care Program grantees and the Collaborative Problem Solving grantees. I have led peer to peer trainings with many communities
throughout the country, especially those in Region 4 such as Birmingham AL, Savannah GA, Charleston SC, and the Jacksonville FL grantees. The EPA DVD attracted a Korean delegation of 16 reporters and the Institute of Social Conflict from S. Korea to come to SC and study the ReGenesis model, as well as the Taiwanese Government sponsoring two Taiwanese professors to study the ReGenesis model that resulted in a report that is being used to teach the CPS model of ReGenesis in Taiwan.
2007 Appointed by the SC Speaker of the House to a Labor, Commerce, & Industry Select Study committee to go and examine the feasibility of offshore drilling for Natural Gas in the Gulf Coast on the NaKiKa BP Oil Rig.
2007 Selected by the House Agriculture Chairman to tour and investigate a Nuclear Waste Dump and its environmental impact of tritium, resulting in the Legislature voting to shut down the facility in SC.
2007 Co-Sponsored the Sales Tax Rebates for Alternative Fuel Eco Friendly Vehicles.
2004 I created job training courses to get residents qualified for employment opportunities through the DOL’s Workforce Investment Board and our Local Technical College. I created an Asbestos Abatement, Two Brick Masonry, and a Construction trade class trainings for the Hope 6 project, and the Affordable Housing projects to have sub-contractors ready for work.
2001 – Present I formed and created an Alternative Dispute Resolution agreement between the community and the existing Solvay Chemical Plant that became a model for the American Chemistry Council and the National Manufacturing Alliance. The dialogue addressed chemical safety, raw material storage, real time air monitoring of the facility with the Sierra Club providing technical assistance, ground water & waste water monitoring with Georgia Tech providing technical assistance from EPA’s tasc program. I created a live simulated emergency preparedness drill after the fatal disastrous Aiken Chlorine train derailment in SC that was later adopted by Spartanburg County then used throughout SC for Emergency Preparedness and Shelter in Place trainings.
2000 After collaborating with 8 Federal Agencies ReGenesis became the Demonstration Project for the Federal Inter Agency Working Group on Environmental Justice.
1999 – 2014 I’ve led and managed the non-profits role starting of the Superfund Cleanup of the IMC Fertilizer Plants deconstruction, the Arkwright Landfill remediation/capping of site, in 2004 I led the State’s first Voluntary Cleanup Contract of the Arkwright Textile Mill Brownfield site of petroleum and the Hazardous Waste cleanup of the North St. Dump Brownfield site. In 2009 I formed an LLC and Contracted with Spartanburg County to lead the demolition, remediation, cleanup, and community engagement of the Victor Mill Brownfield site in Greer, SC. A project that finished a year ahead of schedule with 5 major change orders that still came in under budget.
1999 I partnered with 2 HBCU’s Texas Southern U. and three Howard University students who graduated with engineering degrees to establish our 1st Federally Qualified Health Center to provide access to care in a medically underserved EJ community that has expanded to 8 additional sites providing Primary Care, Dental, two 340-B Pharmacy’s that discounts prescription drugs up to 50%, Behavioral/Mental Health, School Base Health, Agricultural Farm Workers, and Chiropractic service just to name a few of that many services this FQHC provides with a $18 Million Annual Economic Impact.
1999 I had the honor of building my EJ foundation by serving on the Executive Council of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, and the Waste and Facility Siting Sub-Committee. That experience provided guidance for me to take the lessons learned and apply them to the various challenges that my community was facing, for example resolving the inadequate polluted well water usage and
hooking those same residents up to public drinking water, and providing new water lines to provide safe drinking water in 2 other impacted EJ neighborhoods after identifying the high lead levels in the 100 plus year old pipes.
Current Boards & Committees:
2020 Member of the Steering Committee of the National Brownfields Coalition, Co-Chair Environmental Justice and Public Health Subcommittee.
2020 Member of the Biden Climate Advisory Council
2020 Member of Evergreen Action Board
2019 Founding Member Equitable & Just Climate Platform Committee
2018 Present Member of the Former Legislative Caucus of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators Foundation, Chair of Environmental/Climate
2009 to 2016 Clinton Global Initiative, Member
2005 to 2017 SC House of Representatives, District 31 key primary sponsored legislation 2016, Renewable Energy Tax Credit, Solar & Geothermal on EPA, NPL sites
2010, Passed the first Human Trafficking Legislation
2009, Established SC Housing Commission
2008, Low Income Housing Tax Credits for Affordable Housing
2008, Established Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom Day in South Carolina
2007, Established SC Local Housing Trust Fund
2007, Passed legislation for Tax Increment Financing for Affordable Housing
2007, Passed the first Environmental Justice law in South Carolina
2006, Passed Electronic Prescription Drugs
2015 to 2017 National Black Caucus of State Legislators, Vice Chairman: Region V – SC, NC
2015 to 2017 National Black Caucus of State Legislators, Vice Chairman: Business & Economic Development Policy Committee
2013 to 2014 SC Legislative Black Caucus, Chairman
2007 to 2011 Co-Chair, Health Caucus of the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus
2010 Presenter at the First White House Forum on Environmental Justice for the Federal Interagency Working Group
2007 US Senate Hearing on Environmental Justice, Testified before the first US Senate Hearing on Environmental Justice.
Invited by Sen. Hillary Clinton, who Chaired the Committee
2006 to 2007 Led the Legislative effort to secure $1 Million for Community Health Centers across SC
AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS
2016 Revitalizing Vulnerable Communities Champion Award, National Training & Resources Summit
2016 Legislator of the Year, SC Solar Council
2015 Legislator of the Year, National Black Caucus of State Legislators for SC NC
2015 American Planning Association, National Planning Excellence Award for Advancing
Diversity & Social Change
2015 Institute of Medicine & Public Health, Health Policy Fellows 2015 Selma Alabama Fruit of the Labor Award, 50th Anniversary Bridge Crossing Jubilee
2014 Axelson Center for Non-Profit CEO’s Bootcamp, at North Park U of Chicago
2010 EPA National Environmental Justice Award, presented by Administrator Lisa Jackson
2008 Legislator of the Year, SC State Housing Finance and Development Authority
2008 SC Environmental Awareness Award, SC Dept. of Natural Resources 2009 Legislator of the Year, SC Home Builders Association 2007 Legislator of the Year, SC Affordable Housing Coalition
2006 Inaugural Spartanburg Regional Health Care Systems Foundation, Regional Fellows
2002 Leadership for a Changing World Award, Ford Foundation 2002 National Citizen’s Excellence Award, US Environmental Protection Agency
2002 United Nations Conference on Sustainability, Johannesburg South Africa, Delegate
2000 Trailblazer Award, Southern Organizing Committee, Atlanta Ga.
2000 Region 4 Environmental Merit Award, US Environmental Protection Agency