Tecklenburg was so affected in fact, that he shut down his campaign for an extended time out of respect to the families of the victims (as did the other six). The campaign back on, it was on this difficult-to-discuss topic that our conversation with the candidate began.
“The City needs a Mayor who is open, who can listen, and who can bring people together. I think it’s common sense people crave, that and flexibility.”
“It’s been collective heartbreak for Charleston … but what a beautiful response. And I just think that it tells the story of Rev. (Clementa) Pinkney as a pastor that his congregation, that various families from his congregation responded with such love and compassion. It’s remarkable, and to me it says a lot about and what he (Pinckney) was preaching,” begins John Tecklenburg. “And this may sound crazy, but when I first started announcing that I was going to run, I was talking a lot about love and compassion, and Charleston being a ‘holy city.’
“My friends told me it wasn’t politically smart, but I just don’t think so. We’ve shown the world that we have the capacity to live as a holy city, but now we’ve got to live that out,” he continues. “Living that way affects a lot of things, from housing, to gentrification, to disparities in education and job opportunities for all residents of Charleston,” continues the candidate.
“I feel like we’re entering into a new phase in our city’s history, when the focus on people is more important than the focus on things, buildings and the like,” he says. “The City needs a Mayor who is open, who can listen, and who can bring people together. I think it’s common sense people crave, that and flexibility.”
Tecklenburg asserts the next Mayor has much to do in the way of reaching out to each “borough” as he calls the outlying barrier island regions of the City. James Island, Johns Island, and West Ashley top his list where a new emphasis on creating a conversation within the community, then putting what needs to take place into action.
“James Island is a good example. First of all, I would offer a peace treaty to the folks who live outside the city boundaries,” he begins. “I can’t undo the past, and there’s some acrimony and history there. There’s just this residual bitterness about all that but if we can come together as a community after the Emanuel Nine and show unity, we can do that with the issues that impact James Island.”