Rock Hill council candidate Jackson wants to empower residents

adouglas@heraldonline.comSeptember 7, 2013 

Jackson

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    Meet Nikita Jackson

    Age: 40

    Family: Son, age 14, who is a freshman at Rock Hill High School

    Education: Graduate of Northwestern High School and Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C.

    Occupation: Sales associate at Agape Medical Mart in Rock Hill

    Jackson will hold a meet and greet event with voters at 11:45 a.m. at the rotunda in Rock Hill’s City Hall at 155 Johnston St., on Tuesday.

One candidate vying to represent Ward 5 on Rock Hill’s City Council says her primary interest is to help empower residents and improve their quality of life.

Nikita Jackson, a sales associate at Agape Medical Mart, is running against two other Rock Hill natives for the seat: Mildred Moore and Ann Williamson-Morrison.

On Tuesday, Jackson is holding an event at City Hall to introduce herself to voters.

The 40-year-old was raised in the Sunset Park neighborhood, where she got her start in community activism.

She joined the neighborhood association and later served on Rock Hill’s Weed and Seed committee--a federally-funded effort to eradicate crime in specific neighborhoods.

Jackson has also served on the board of Keep York County Beautiful and she completed a civics course offered by the city called “Inside Rock Hill.”

York County Councilman Bump Roddey, whose district includes Rock Hill, is co-running Jackson’s campaign with her friend, Gwen Finley.

Roddey says he’s watched as Jackson has participated in various community activities and he thinks she’s “ready to serve in a much larger capacity.” If an incumbent were running for the Ward 5 seat, he said, he would not have chosen to endorse a candidate in the race.

Long-time City Councilman Osbey Roddey has represented Ward 5 for nearly 24 years in Rock Hill. Last month, Osbey Roddey said he will not seek re-election in order to spend more time with his family and leading his church.

Many of Bump Roddey’s York County constituents are also residents of Rock Hill’s Ward 5.

The councilman said he wants to see Jackson win the election because she’s in it for the “long haul.”

As Bump Roddey and Jackson have discussed the ward’s particular issues, he said, they’ve noted that some city services are concentrated on other areas of Rock Hill, such as Dave Lyle Boulevard and Cherry Road.

Ward 5 includes many neighborhoods in the Albright Road and Saluda Street area of south Rock Hill.

More “clean-up efforts” are needed in Ward 5, Bump Roddey said.

Major road projects near completion and improvements such as the addition of a southern “gateway marker” at the intersection of Albright Road and Saluda Street could become “the new backbone pulling Ward 5 up,” he said.

Jackson is committed, Bump Roddey said, to working through the City Council to make sure those projects result in economic development growth for the area.

She’s also interested, Jackson said, in bringing together city, county and state officials to improve stormwater drainage problems in Ward 5 and across Rock Hill.

The fix will take years, she said, but small improvements are feasible and could make a difference in many neighborhoods.

Voter information

Rock Hill voters will need to register and have a voter ID at the poll.

York County’s registration and elections office will provide free voter ID cards from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 28 at York Technical College’s Baxter Hood Center, 452 Anderson Road.

Free IDs also are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday at the registration and elections office, 13 S. Congress St., York.

To vote in Rock Hill’s election, residents must be registered in person by Sept. 15 or have the voter registration application postmarked by Sept. 14.

Anna Douglas •  803-329-4068

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