Monier Abusaft Announces Candidacy for S.C. State House
Local Activist Seeks Equity for All Spartanburg Residents
On the Issues
Monier “Mo” Abusaft is a local activist and community organizer who plans to run an issues-based-campaign focused on getting District 31 its fair share.
The campaign revolves around three major issues: housing, education, and criminal justice reform.
Housing: “You can’t talk about District 31 without talking about the state of housing,” says Mo. He desires to renovate older homes around the community and provide affordable options for young professionals and families who want to move into the District. “If we make District 31, the kind of place where people want to live, with good housing, with parks for their kids, and cultural events that people want to take part in, then jobs will come. Jobs follow talent.”
Education: Mo believes that Spartanburg has a white-collar deficit due to the lack of educational attainment in the area. While Spartanburg is known for its manufacturing job opportunities, Mo would like to see more people educated and qualified to hold management and other higher-level positions.
He also wants to highlight major issues within the school district. Many students in District 7 deal with circumstances beyond the district’s current ability to assist—poverty, neighborhood violence, and malnutrition. Mo aims for better coordination of available resources and equipping schools to assist students in need.
Criminal Justice Reform: As former President for the Spartanburg Branch of the NAACP, Mo was influential in pushing for all Spartanburg police officers to wear body cameras, and he wants to see this applied to all officers in the state of South Carolina. In addition, he’ll advocate civil penalties for officers and police departments that attempt to prevent citizens from recording officer interactions. Mo’s experience as a Public Defender has taught him that our criminal justice center is deeply flawed and that greater protections must be put in place to protect minority communities.
Mo also strives to "Ban the Box," preventing government agencies from inquiring about criminal records on job applications. Mo believes when “people serve their time, they have paid their debt to society, and they should not continue to be punished.”
“In this time and period, there aren’t many leaders who want to fight for the regular folks.” Mo has risen to the challenge, as evident with his involvement in many Spartanburg community efforts. He is a former member of the Spartanburg Human Relations Commission and a graduate of the Grassroots Leadership Development Institute.
Mo is a graduate of Wofford College and Vanderbilt University Law School. He is currently the Vice President for the Spartanburg Branch of the NAACP and also serves as Executive Director for Spartanburg Juneteenth, Inc., a nonprofit organization established to educate the Spartanburg community about African American history primarily through an annual Juneteenth celebration.
For more information on Monier “Mo” and his bid for the State House, visit Mofor31.org.