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Steve Benjamin

  • President Joe Biden has appointed a former Columbia, South Carolina, mayor to be a top White House adviser. Steve Benjamin will become director of the White House Office of Engagement, taking over from former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. Benjamin has long been considered a rising star in Democratic politics, serving three terms as Columbia's mayor, and the first Black mayor in the city's history. The appointment comes at a time when Benjamin's home state is becoming even more critical to Democrats as they face the 2024 presidential campaign. Biden called Benjamin a "longtime public servant" whose "deep relationships across the country" would well serve the administration.
  • The outgoing mayor of Columbia, SC has been awarded a Harvard fellowship to mentor and teach students.
  • 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.
  • South Carolina's highest court on Thursday tossed out a school mask mandate in Columbia, saying it contradicts a state budget measure aimed at preventing face covering requirements.
  • The mayor of South Carolina's capital city has issued a school mask mandate, which he says would protect vaccine-ineligible children amid the coronavirus's resurgence. Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin made that proclamation Wednesday. The effort puts the Democrat at odds with Republican Gov. Henry McMaster as well as the GOP-controlled Legislature, which recently barred such policies for all public schools. A new legislative measure prohibits mask mandates in South Carolina's public schools. Benjamin says he feels he has the authority to impose one for students in his city. Benjamin told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he plans to use city, not state, funds to provide masks in the city's elementary and middle schools.