Candidate Profile: LaShonda NeSmith Jackson

  • Jan 8, 2021
  • LaShonda NeSmith Jackson

LaShonda NeSmith Jackson, Candidate for Florence City Council District 1


Why did you choose Emerge?

I share Emerge’s vision to expand political and legislative opportunities for more women across the spectrum of civic responsibility and leadership. My greatest takeaway from my experience with Emerge is being among the ranks of powerful and like-minded women who share a common goal for running and winning successful grassroots programs in South Carolina. I am honored to continue the legacy of making room for the next generation of leaders and fully prepared to be a true example of what Emerge South Carolina represents in action. 


What office are you running for and why?

Following my tenure as a public service official for Florence County Democratic Party, I drove my capacities in community organizing, business coaching, and political training, to emerge as a viable candidate for Florence City Council Chairwoman, District One. After filling the vacancy of Mayor-Elect Teresa​ Myers Ervin (November, 2020), my future role as Councilwoman for District One​ will broaden my access and reach for galvanizing the most neglected people, engaging communities, and providing families with solutions they desperately need. 

I am running for the progress people deserve. The “Community Campaign” is a universal community agenda.  As Councilwoman, my job is to uphold the community’s vision and address the “keep you up at night”, social and economic stressors for locals like our seniors and single mothers. A people purposed and politically proven problem solver is what the people need. I understand those closest to the problems are the ones closest to the solutions and I am poised to serve through action and leadership you can see. 


What is your vision for your community?

During my term, I will foster a community of open minds, creative entrepreneurs, and innovative leaders. Working together to rebuild our communities gives us the opportunity for a competitive advantage that sustains future generations. A working infrastructure filled with opportunities, tools, and resources for developing productive skills, has the potential to empower Florence County citizens to do more than survive, but thrive.


What/Who inspires you to run for office?

Children in the City of Florence graduate from our high schools, go off to college and never return again until they retire. They spend their active years living and working in other parts of South Carolina and out of the state only to never look back home to Florence. Our greatest talents leave us every year to embark on their dreams and endeavors everywhere but home. Like my own children, Bi’ael (28), Dre’Shon (15), and my grandson Ashton (8), our youth drive my hope for the future. I want all children to maintain their pride and grow to become active doers and changemakers in the places where it has the greatest impact. 


Which Democratic woman inspires you and why?

While serving 7 terms in the United States House of Representatives, Shirley Chisholm’s courage in action has had a profound impact on my political ideals. Chisholm is renowned for introducing more than 50 articles of legislation and for writing the blueprint for the Civil Rights Movement, consequently impacting and championing women’s and gender rights today. Shirley Chisholm’s acts of service prove we can predict the future through the actions we take today. 


What’s the one thing you gained from Emerge and would like to share with others?

Emerge has given me all the tools, resources, support, knowledge, and confidence needed to lead winning programs and strategies. I have gained a wonderful sisterhood and powerful network of alums, elected officials and thought leaders who open doors. If you are a woman seeking change in your community and don’t know where to start, Join Emerge South Carolina.


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