2015 Impact Report

December 30, 2015

Wow, wow, wow…what a ride!

2015 was a topsy-turvy year in South Carolina, full of both tragedy and triumph.  South Carolinians—through the forgiveness shown by the families of the victims in the aftermath of the Mother Emanuel shooting, through the generosity and care shown after the unprecedented flood, and through the community spirit shown during every other difficulty this state faced in 2015—proved what Palmetto Promise has known all along—that the people of South Carolina are resilient, hopeful, and full of potential. We’ve never been so proud of our great state.

We’ve also never been more grateful to partner with our fellow citizens to help unlock our state’s full potential. So before we retire the 2015 memories to the dusty corners of our mind, we want to take you on a brief tour of all the hard work we’ve put into making the Palmetto State great in 2015. And check out our 2015 Impact Report in info-graphic form!

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On a cold, blustery day in January, Jordon from the Jubilee Academy in Columbia joined hundreds of other students, parents, and legislators at the statehouse to collectively shout their support for the opportunity of all South Carolina students to reach their full God-given potential. This, of course, was done at the My SC Education Rally.

Young Jordon’s contagious smile drove away the lingering chill to warm all of our hearts. As she and her friends danced, shouted, and posed for pictures with all of her fellow students (and with Governor Haley), we were reminded of the reason why we fight for the right of parents to choose the perfect education for their children…because these children are the future, and it’s our responsibility to create every opportunity for them to succeed in school and life.

Health Care Freedom

“Our own state of South Carolina declined to establish and fund a state-run exchange. We were unwilling to subject taxpayers to the millions in added costs and expanded bureaucracy associated with creating one. Our decision has been validated many times over…Regardless of the Court’s decision in King v. Burwell, we do not intend to create a state exchange.”

That’s exactly what 43 members of the South Carolina legislature had to say to Congress. The King v. Burwell  SCOTUS decision was upon the state and Palmetto Promise was at the forefront in asking legislators to sign the pledge not to create a state-run Obamacare exchange…the kind that is failing in so many other states.

Though The Court provided a disappointing ruling, Palmetto Promise was in the trenches with our state legislators fighting for your healthcare freedom. The fact is, Palmetto Promise is developing a reputation as a common sense, effective advocate for state-based solutions to South Carolina’s needs.

Energy Independence

Just off our sunny shores, Flipper, South Carolina’s truth-telling dolphin, made his much anticipated debut. Partnering with Palmetto Promise to help dispel the ever-present false claims surrounding offshore energy exploration, Flipper used his first-hand experience, and clever presentation to spread the important truth about what South Carolina’s offshore opportunity could mean to the people of our state!

One specific topic always brings out the passion in Flipper, though. When people explain that seismic mapping (the process of checking to see how much oil and natural gas actually exists) is harmful to sea life, Flipper always smiles and politely explains that they are completely wrong. As Flipper likes to say: “There is no scientific evidence that seismic instruments have injured animals.”

And as always, neither Flipper nor any of his dolphin friends were harmed during the production of our graphics or our award-winning animated video.

Economic Growth

Imagine if someone chucked a brick through the store-front window at Joe’s muffin shop. Joe—in addition to having a mess on his hands—would face decisions that create all kinds of unintended consequences for his community and everyone he does business with. Which makes Joe’s situation the perfect way to illustrate about how the minimum wage actually hurts the very people it’s supposed to help.

And whether it’s South Carolina’s real debt, its revenue and spending policies, or its federal grant problem, Joe’s story of unintended economic consequences goes a long way to explain why South Carolina must take a responsible, realistic view of its financial future.

As we explained in a nationally published piece titled, “South Carolina’s Manufacturing Revolution,” South Carolina has a lot going for it: “Great golf, gorgeous beaches, spicy shrimp and grit, and tea so sweet it’ll knock you into next Tuesday…”  But we must get our tax structure aligned to create long term economic growth if South Carolina is going to make the most of its incredible potential!

And that’s just the beginning

Those were just some of the highlights! We didn’t even mention our president, Ellen Weaver’s, opportunities to speak at high-profile events like Senator Tim Scott’s school choice conference in Washington,  the families featured in our latest publication of Empower Opportunity: Education Options for South Carolina Families, or the consensus-building gathering of top South Carolina influencers at our annual VisionSC Summit.

What a great year, right? We think so! But this is just the beginning. Palmetto Promise only has optimism for what 2016 holds in South Carolina. We’re so excited to partner with even more South Carolinians to make 2016 the best year ever in our state!