This profile of Jevarus Howard, candidate for Greenville County Council District 19, is one of a series on Democratic candidates running for office who are not currently incumbents, designed to help voters understand who they are and what they stand for.
By Erica Edmondson
Jevarus Howard, the Democratic candidate for City Council District 19, is passionate, committed, and knows what it takes to be a true leader. At 27, he would be the youngest person on the County Council, bringing a fresh perspective to the table. “The perspective I bring is one of unity, brotherhood (which is flexible to linking arms with any and all like minds), and job completion. My age doesn’t reflect my experience or my passion. But instead it could be looked at as an asset. I know how to be accessible by utilizing the various tools we have today, be informed and build great teams.”
Jevarus is a small business owner, a husband, a father, a combat veteran, and a community advocate. He has spent most of his life dedicated to service. “I am running to ask the community to hold me accountable for the tasks we are not seeing fully completed and improvements that we need. I live in this community so this isn’t just an outside looking in opinion.”
Jevarus was born in Fayetteville, NC, but grew up in Greenville, attending both Hughes Academy and South Side High School before moving to North Carolina where received his high school diploma. After high school, he joined the Army in 2009, a decision that he still stands by as one of the best in his life. He deployed abroad twice, once to Korea and once to Afghanistan, where he served in combat. He is still serving in the Army Reserves. He studied marketing at Ashworth College and advertising at Sanford Brown University, both online. Jevarus used that knowledge along with his leadership skills learned from the military to start his first business in Greenville.
Following active duty, Jevarus operated a direct sales business along with opening his first corporation, Lion Equity Investments LLC, a franchise and commercial services firm. From there, he was a consultant at Concept Marketing Group, helping businesses lower their operating costs and maximize profit. Currently, he is focused on operating his property management franchise throughout the Upstate.
A family man, Jevarus and his wife, KeAsia, have three sons Zion, 7, Zaiden, 5, and ZeNaire, 3.
“Business was my way of creating a lifestyle that continued providing a service to my community, as well as building something that will (be a) lesson (in) discipline and dedication I can teach my boys. I risked a lot in starting a business. I walked away from full time jobs, set paydays, schedules and phone calls that ended at 5PM. I walked into long hours, late nights, and more NO’s than anyone would like to hear. But it was all worth it. At this point, I wouldn’t do anything different. I get an opportunity to work hard and share the rewards. The rewards of time spent with family, community, and level of service I get to provide is amazing.”
Jevarus has been very involved in the local business community. As a small business owner in District 19, he appreciates and goes out of his way to support other small businesses in the district. He buys tires locally, uses local printers for his businesses, gets his haircut down the street. “I live in this community, I worship in this community, and my family is here,” he explains. Jevarus also serves on the board of directors of the Greenville Area Development Corporation (GADC). A position he says “allows him to be a community liaison for schools and local businesses,” furthering his deep commitment to District 19 and local business owners.
Jevarus is determined to bring some of the growth that so much of Greenville County has seen lately into District 19. He believes that Greenville’s phenomenal growth has skipped over areas like Berea. “I see issues like transportation being presented as a partisan issue and it is not. It is a people issue and we deserve better.
“Better safety on our roads and lighting up the area. I want to fight for strong, positive and leaving no one behind economic growth. Most of which can only happen by sitting and talking with developers and economist who want better for our Greenville. I want to see fairness in making safer our trails and bike walks. And I want to ensure our neighborhoods are safe.”
He decided to run because he “felt that he brought something to the table. It wasn’t about me, but I feel like I’m great at networking. I love the community so much; I would love to go to work for it.”
Jevarus promises to fight for everyone in his community regardless of party, race, or any other dividing characteristic. He is committed to being a voice for all, and he is not afraid of a challenge. He has personal ties to the community, extensive leadership experience, and a history of service and dedication.
“A voice for all,” he says, “means care for each and every citizen of District 19. The young, the experienced, the students, the business professionals and partners, the voice comes from the people, I want to make sure it’s heard. It means bringing critical issues back to the table of the community. Considering all options and making decisions not just off party or what’s popular but what is best for us as a community together.”