Meet the candidates for Charleston City Council District 1
MARIE DELCIOPPO AIMS FOR COLLABORATION TO TACKLE ISSUES
Marie Delcioppo knows what it’s like to have a full plate. She’s a candidate for Charleston City Council District 1 in addition to serving as the current president of the Daniel Island Neighborhood Association. She has also served on the Berkeley County Board of Elections & Voter Registration, the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office Citizen
Advisory Board, and City of Charleston Neighborhood Council. Most importantly, Delcioppo is learning the ropes as a busy new mom to a 14-year-old girl, adopted on October 4, 2019.
When she has a moment of free time, she can be found relaxing at one of her favorite spots on Daniel Island — Smythe Park, Bin 526, Blondies, or Beech. Family members describe her as a strong, motivated self-starter who puts faith and family at the center of her life.
Delcioppo, a long-time Charlestonian, said that she is committed to tackling the city’s challenges of traffic, flooding, and growth. “I dearly love Charleston,” she said. “But let’s be honest: We all deserve more from our city government. I have an established track record of bringing people together to find practical solutions to problems we all face.”
She wants city council and the mayor to work together better so residents receive proper representation and services. With Charleston’s growth, it’s very important for government to be efficient with the tax dollars it collects, she noted.
Delcioppo said that her varied experiences have sharpened her skills in communication and collaboration and that her ability to foster relationships among government agencies with the private sector will lead to positive action. Infrastructure is her top priority, which includes traffic and transportation along with flooding and public safety. If elected, she would like to serve on Charleston’s Traffic and Transportation Committee.
“I have extensive experience and a proven record of success in working with the City of Charleston, Berkeley County, and SCDOT on traffic and safety concerns throughout Daniel Island and Clements Ferry,” she commented.
In District 1, “our roads are in desperate need of being resurfaced, and I spearheaded the city and county coming together to reach an agreement on accomplishing this,” Delcioppo said. “The city is now in the process of grading our streets to determine the order of need for resurfacing. We need staff dedicated to painting road markings and lines. We need a clearly defined plan for I-526 and the Port, which involves working with SCDOT and SCPA.” She also touched on the need to support Berkeley County during the second phase of construction on Clements Ferry Road.
Basic city municipal services, such as trash pick-up, tree trimming, and road maintenance have declined for Daniel Island, according to Delcioppo. “We need to get that straightened out immediately. It needs to involve reallocating resources to various departments to help manage the demand for these services and even renegotiating of
contracts or finding other contractors altogether if our needs are not being met. Along the same lines of reallocating resources, we must take a fresh look at both the number and locations of police precincts, fire stations, and timely availability of EMT services,” she said.
As an elected representative, Delcioppo vows to keep her community informed. “I will continue to communicate as I have done as DINA president: positively, timely, and responsively. Residents know they can reach out to me on any communication media and I will honestly and openly work with them to resolve issues. I will have a website, Facebook page, email list, and articles in our local publications to communicate regularly with residents across District 1,” she said.
Marie Delcioppo is endorsed by Sheriff Duane Lewis.
ANGELA BLACK DRAKE VOWS TO BRIDGE DISTRICT 1 COMMUNITIES
As one of the first real estate agents on Daniel Island, Angela Black Drake knows the area inside and out. Twenty-one years ago, her office was situated in a trailer surrounded by dirt roads near Blackbaud. As a seasoned sales executive for Daniel Island Real Estate, she has seen the island begin as a dream and blossom into the reality of a developed, bustling community. She has a passion for historic preservation and enjoys finding peace and relaxation while walking on the 18 miles of foot trails around Daniel Island. Family members describe her as sincere, motivated, self-directed, and honest.
Drake feels she is uniquely qualified to lead as the Charleston City Council representative of District 1, which includes pockets of the downtown peninsula, as well as Daniel Island and Cainhoy. She splits her time between her Charleston residence and Daniel Island. Drake served as the past president of the Historic Neighborhood Ansonborough Association, held a seat on the board of the Gibbs Museum of Art, is a board member of the Charleston Chamber of Commerce, and is president-elect of the Rotary Club of Daniel Island. Drake also volunteers at the Cainhoy Community Center. She attends city council meetings regularly. This cross section of experience and community interaction, she noted, will allow her to represent the people in all areas of the expansive district. District 1 is a hybrid district, she said, “And I, too, am a product of that. I’m a hybrid candidate in that I’ve served Daniel Island and I’ve served downtown, so I understand the needs of both.”
On Daniel Island, transportation and infrastructure are her top priority. She professed, “The roads haven’t been paved in 25 years. The lights need to be reset for the traffic flow. There should be a comprehensive traffic study done so we can address those needs.”
She said that alternative modes of transportation should be continuously explored and engaged. For example, the new Daniel Island Ferry provides a 22 minute, covered ride to downtown. The downtown area, in turn, is installing more bike paths. “We have a common situation…there’s only so many ways in and out of Daniel Island…the same for downtown. It’s important the road system is up to par. At some point, the commercial parts of Daniel Island will need public transportation” to support the work force. One of Drake’s goals is to collaborate with CARTA to have the central line that comes from Summerville add a stop on Daniel Island before it continues downtown.
She favors a grassroots approach to involve residents in decision-making processes. She’d like to “have her boots on the ground” to communicate with residents, hold town hall meetings, and implement a callline manned around the clock. It’s important to Drake to be tuned in to the needs of Cainhoy residents when gathering community feedback. Cainhoy’s explosion of growth includes 8,000 acres of residential development, three new schools, grocery stores, churches, two fire stations, and an increased demand for police coverage. She said, “[Cainhoy] is a town within itself that is annexed to the City of Charleston. That will be a moving force within the next six years. It will be larger than Daniel Island.”
When asked about how the next Charleston City Council will address challenges, she said, “I’m looking forward to the next City Council. I think the challenges are the challenges of prosperity. The challenges of needing to grow our infrastructure, [and consider] transportation and flooding. Our districts are different, yet we represent one. We represent the people of Charleston.”
Transparency, reliability, and strong interpersonal skills are traits that she said she will bring to the job if elected. Working to protect the residential fabric of neighborhoods during periods of growth is Drake’s broad concern.
Angela Black Drake is endorsed by Charleston Mercury, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce PAC, and Lowcountry Livability PAC.