James “Jim” Felder, a noted and very well known civil rights advocate, former legislator, and author spoke to the club at the August 15 meeting.
The primary topic of Mr. Felder’s talk was the penny sales tax in Richland County and how that money is being spent.
A few points from the talk:
- He got involved initially because bus service was going to stop. Too many people depend on buses and he didn’t want to see that happen.
- While there has been much criticism of the way the penny tax is being managed he pointed out much good has been done, most of which we never hear about because the county is doing a terrible job of promoting it.
- He does not in any way condone illegal or unethical behavior and pointed out the two people that have left their positions, Councilman Washington and Councilman Newman, were found to have violated tax law. It had nothing to do with the penny tax or the good that is being done with the money.
- He, like many other citizens, is waiting for a final word and court decision now.
Mr. Felder is tremendously accomplished having written the book “I buried John F. Kennedy”, the booklet “Know Your South Carolina Government”, and published “A Directory of Black Elected and Appointed Officials in South Carolina”. He also served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1970-72 and was only the tenth black American to serve with the SC Honor Guard.