(Columbia, SC) – On Monday, March 27th at 6:30 PM, hundreds of grassroots community leaders from over 27 diverse interfaith congregations will join city and county officials for MORE Justice’s Sixth Annual Nehemiah Action Assembly at the Township Auditorium (1703 Taylor St). The gathering aims to demand specific, measurable action to address the housing crisis, rising gun violence, and worsening food insecurity in Columbia.
According to recent surveys conducted by MORE Justice, over half of the surveyed members have to travel more than half a mile to reach their closest grocery store, with over 65,000 people in Richland County experiencing food insecurity. MORE Justice is calling for the City of Columbia to support the sustainability of the current Mobile Market and open city-owned lands for local food access initiatives, such as pop-up markets, community gardens, and produce stands.
The housing crisis in Richland County is also a critical concern, with over 16,000 households paying more than half their income on rent and utilities. MORE Justice is urging Richland County Councilmembers to create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund, protected by law with dedicated sources of funding, to invest in housing for those making less than 50% of the average median income.
Gun violence in Columbia has also been increasing, with shootings up by 18% in the city. MORE Justice is asking the City of Columbia to report on the newly created Office of Violent Crime Prevention and ensure that the office produces positive benefits for the community.
“The Nehemiah Action Assembly is an opportunity for the community to publicly ask for commitments from local officials on specific solutions to serious community problems,” said a MORE Justice representative. “We urge the community to attend and gain clarity on what their public officials are committed to doing.”
For additional information or to set up interviews with MORE Justice leadership, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call MORE Justice Vice President, Rev. Jackie Utley, at (843) 260-7396. For more information on the work of MORE Justice, please visit www.morejusticecolumbia.org.