Hometown: Charleston (West Ashley)
Birthday: August 14
Bio: Jonathan grew up in West Ashley and attended Blessed Sacrament School and Bishop England High School. After graduating from the College of Charleston with a BA in Communications in 2002, Jonathan's first professional reporting job came with the Fort Mill Times in Fort Mill, S.C. in 2004. Over the following five years he became the senior reporter at the Times and won numerous reporting awards from the South Carolina Press Association for in-depth reporting, business reporting, and feature writing. He was also a part of the newsroom that earned a McClatchy President's Award for spot news reporting in 2007. He was promoted to Editor of the Times' sister paper the York and Clover Enquirer-Herald in 2009, where he earned additional SCPA awards for headline writing and photography, and the paper received SCPA's top honors in its size category, earning the General Excellence Award that year. Jonathan became a victim of shrinking newspaper budgets in October 2010 before joining Patch. Jonathan is married and lives in West Ashley.
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How would you describe your political beliefs?
Are you registered with a certain party?
I don't particularly like any political party. I find them all disappointing to some degree. I take a libertarian view of social issues and a progressive view on taxes and government regulation of business conduct, especially on environmental issues. I don't consider myself a party-line voter but I can't see myself voting Republican until the party decides it no longer needs to worry about what goes on in people's bedrooms and that all taxes are not evil.
How religious would you consider yourself? (casual, observant, devout, non religious)
I was raised Catholic, I attended Catholic schools and mass every week, I was even an altar boy in middle school. I still consider myself culturally a Catholic, but I am somewhere between agnostic and atheist when it comes to religion. I feel that most religions have some very good ideas behind them, but I don't think any of them has cornered the market on the unknown.
Local Hot-Button Issues
What do you think are the most important issues facing the community?
The completion, or not, of I-526 has been a simmering issue in West Ashley and other parts of the Charleston area for as long as I can remember, and all signs point to it remaining so for the foreseeable future. The Rennaissance of Savannah Hwy. at Avondale and over to South Windemere is a major driver of vitality in parts of West Ashley and comes with challenges as well as opportunities. As more and more people have moved into West Ashley the added traffic brings frustrations and challenges as well.
Where do you stand on each of these issues?
On I-526, something needs to be decided one way or the other, it is a project that has dragged on for more than two decades. The rebirth of Savannah Hwy. has been great for West Ashley, even with the added traffic in the area, which was already busy. West Ashley, since it is part of the City of Charleston, doesn't really have a downtown area of its own. But the infusion of creative people and forward thinking business owners in the Avondale area and in other pockets around the area are helping to give West Ashley a new identity as something more than Charleston's first suburb.