Accelerating Columbia

News: 12, February 2019
Columbia South Carolina

By Rick Jacobs, CEO, Accelerator for America

On the heels of an inspiring visit to Cincinnati this week with Mayor John Cranley and his team, Accelerator for America is headed to Columbia, South Carolina, where vice president of the US Conference of Mayors, Accelerator Advisory Council member and host, Mayor Steve Benjamin, will show us how he’s building the future.

Mayor Benjamin has managed to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in new infrastructure spending while keeping his budgets balanced. His city is home to terrific job-creating developments—a library that embraces Columbia’s homeless population and offers vocational training, for example, or a restaurateur who gave up her New York City life to come home and teach Columbians how to make it in the food business.

We’ll be joined by Honorary Chair and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and our Advisory Council, which will discuss and vote on the next wave of Accelerator investments.

We’ll also get a chance to hear from Bruce Katz, co-author with Jeremy Nowak of "The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism." They have traveled the country with the book to build on a lifetime of working with cities. We expect great outcomes from our meeting.

So much of the country’s progress, from job creation and economic development to rebuilding our human capital in places like the Richland Library, is happening in cities. As Mayor Benjamin said during a recent MSNBC interview (embedded below), “We are building great, competitive cities on the world stage.”

We can’t wait to see it for ourselves.