I am Peter Shahid. I was born in Charleston and attended local schools here. I graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a law degree in 1981. My family includes my wife, Mary, and our children: Pete, his wife, Sarah; James and Julia.
My grandparents migrated from Lebanon at the turn of the 20th Century. My paternal grandfather arrived in Charleston in 1899 at the age of 10. He worked from the time he settled here, selling goods from the back of a horse drawn cart. He and my grandmother raised 6 children from the money he earned from that cart. My grandfather opened a dry goods store and eventually purchased his own property to build Shahid Department’s Store, a Charleston fixture on upper King Street for almost 100 years until it closed in 1998.
I, as well as my siblings and cousins, worked in the family store alongside our grandfather, father, uncle and aunts. We were taught the basic virtues of honesty, diligence, that long hard hours would pay off, that there was never a job too small or too big, and to care for the people who honored us with their patronage. I carry those virtues in my everyday life.
This City and its wonderful citizens opened their arms to offer my grandparents and my parents an opportunity to raise a family, to earn a living and to take advantage of the freedoms we sometimes take for granted. My siblings and I were ingrained with another basic concept – to get involved in and serve our community. As long as I can remember, members of my family, including myself, have engaged in some aspect of public service, as I have practiced through high school, college and my adult life striving to become a leader in my community.
I was elected to Charleston City Council in 2015 on a simple message that West Ashley had been ignored while the rest of the City was developing into a bustling metropolis. We are now on a new course in revitalizing our neighborhoods and commercial corridors in West Ashley.
The challenge we face today is balancing this revitalization effort while maintaining the character of our neighborhoods. There are several important issues we still need to immediately address. Flooding remains a top priority that needs collaborative teamwork across all of Charleston’s government network.
With your vote, I seek to return as a member of City Council so I can continue to provide strong leadership for our community. I am dedicated to working hard for all citizens of this community and I possess the vision needed to answer the many challenges West Ashley faces. With proven experience as a community leader and businessperson, I will continue to offer real solutions to real problems, striving to make West Ashley and Charleston a better place for us all.