Representative, South Carolina House of Representatives District 113
Associate Attorney, The Peper Law Firm, P.A.
Marvin Pendarvis always knew that he wanted to do more for his community than be an attorney – even though law was his childhood dream.
“I am a native of North Charleston where many schools were not equipped to meet students’ needs,” he said. “I often asked myself, ‘How can we improve public schools, provide better infrastructure, support teachers, and show all kids their fullest potential?”
One year after graduating from law school, Pendarvis ran for the North Charleston City Council and lost.
“This loss was a learning experience,” he admitted. “I learned key stakeholders, how to navigate policy, and ultimately, that I can run for House District 113 after earning my community’s support.”
And that’s exactly what he did. In 2017, Pendarvis won a seat in the South Carolina House of Representatives – only three years after law school – where he represented his birthplace, North Charleston.
“I ran for office because we need more elected officials who care about our children and our teachers.”
His recent legislative agenda focused on supporting teachers, helping impoverished communities, providing affordable housing, and ensuring everyone across the district has access to economic opportunity and success.
“South Carolina has been blessed with a $1 billion budget surplus last year,” he said. “In my opinion, our first priority is simple and long overdue of how we spend this money – let’s get it in the hands of our teachers and provide an environment in which they can teach our children to the best of their abilities. Let’s use it to give them a raise. Let’s use it to make class sizes smaller. Let’s use it to keep teachers here in South Carolina for years to come. And let’s do it now!”
As part of his vision to improve the public school system, Pendarvis supports Teach For America South Carolina (TFASC) because “their work is proven, and alternative teacher certification programs like TFASC are one of the solutions to the state’s teacher shortage and retention issues.”
“Teachers give me hope and inspiration for the future,” he concluded. “They are often buying their own school supplies and staying late with students because they care. We need to meaningfully and holistically invest in public education and address the funding disparities between the school districts, so we can better support our teachers and unlock the unlimited potential of all children.”