‘Dream big, pray big, and achieve big’: Lake City Mayor-Elect shares vision for city days before taking office

Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 10:55 PM EST
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LAKE CITY, S.C. (WMBF) - The Lake City community is counting down the days until they welcome a new mayor.

As Mayor-Elect Yamekia Robinson prepares to take the seat, she sat down with WMBF News about her vision for the city and journey into leadership.

From trials and tribulations to now leading her community in days to come, Robinson will be the new mayor, Lake City’s former mayor held the role for 16 years. As a shy little girl, and native of Lake City, Robinson was destined for new opportunities, but little did she know she would become a leader years later.

“Unbelievable! I can’t believe it,” said Robinson. “I never imagined to be for one mayor of a city ‚and not just of a city but of my hometown, and to be the first African-American female mayor ever elected, I’m very proud of myself.”

As a Lake City High School graduate, Robinson dreamed of becoming a Dermatologist but later pursued a career as a Pharmacy Technician after graduating from The University of South Carolina.

Robinson who is a single mother of five children grew up in the Wedgefield Mobile Home Park of Lake City.

She says one dark moment on July 1, 2017, helped her start advocating for other Lake City residents.

“We had 60 days to move out our home,” she said. “It was new management coming in and they stated that they did not want to operate it as a mobile home park anymore, and to just keep in mind, that most of the residents were on low income and we didn’t have the funds right there to just pick up and go. My community asked me to be the spokesperson for our community.”

Robinson did just that along with Garena Conyers and Tatum Bostick. The three would organize weekly meetings for members of their community.

Six years later, Robinson is just moments away from becoming mayor, and already has a long list of what she wants to see happen in the near future.

“Public safeness and community safety need to grow as our economic development and job opportunities will be growing along with the housing, so we got to make sure that our community is set so all of those things tie in together and I want to see it grow from my hometown.”

Robinson said it’s not only up to her within her first 100 days of taking the seat she’s looking forward to unifying citizens and administration across her hometown.

“I want to see us communicating better. I want the communication between myself, the staff, the administration, and the citizens of Lake City to become better and more open, and to be able to do that then we will be able to accept and see other people’s perspectives and help Lake City continue to grow.”

Robinson also shared how she would like to promote the Civility Pledge across the city. The pledge was originally introduced by the Municipal Association of South Carolina.

To learn about Civility Pledge you can visit their website here.

As she reflects on her journey thus far, Robinson said it’s important to “be the first to do it, then encourage others to do it even better.”

“I look at my three girls and I see them as my younger self, and the main thing I would want to tell them is to dream big, pray big, and achieve big.”

Robinson is set to be sworn in as Mayor on Monday, Jan. 9 at the Continuum of Lake City at 6 p.m.