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Columbia Mayor Steven Benjamin Reflects on Decade-long Career

Columbia Mayor Steven Benjamin
TOP (June 30, 2010) Steven Benjamin is sworn in as Columbia’s 44th mayor. BOTTOM (February 4, 2021) Mayor Benjamin announces he will not seek reelection.

This past February Columbia mayor Steven Benjamin announced his current term would be his final. He shares how leading the state's capitol city has influenced him personally and professionally; critical issues his successor will face and what the next level of civic engagement needs to look like to help solve these issues.

In June of 2010, Steven Benjamin took the oath of office and became the 44th mayor of Columbia and first African American to hold the position. This past February, Benjamin announced his current term would be his final. During his eleven years as mayor, Benjamin has often made headlines while leading the state’s capitol city, most recently on-going legal battles over mandating masks in schools, daycares and public spaces.

But his decades-long career has also included helping the city recover from the historic 2015 rain event and flood; navigating protests in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, and leading through the Coronavirus pandemic.

He talked with South Carolina Public Radio about how these events have impacted him personally and professionally and the critical issues his successor will face.

Thelisha Eaddy is the local Morning Edition host for South Carolina Public Radio.