Red white and blue donkey Democrat symbol

This evening, the Franklin County Democratic Party Central Committee is holding its first meeting since the primary election to appoint new leadership. Before the meeting, elected leaders from Yes We Can Columbus, Count Me In, the Unity Ticket, and Franklin County Democrats United came together to promote shared values and goals to unite the local party.

The following quotes can be attributed to Mario Cespedes, a Ward 40 Central Committee member and leader with Yes We Can Columbus:

“I was elected, because people in my neighborhood want a change. They feel like our democracy is broken and their voice isn’t being heard. The folks in my neighborhood want big money out of politics and they want a debate around raising the minimum wage and empowering our local neighborhoods in Columbus.”

The following quote can be attributed to Deb Steele, Clinton Township Central Committee member and leader in the Unity Ticket:

“I believe there's a lot of common ground among Democrats in Franklin County. We will reach our greatest potential by empowering small business owners, unions, and people who live paycheck to paycheck. We are the people who make Columbus successful. No corporation should get tax breaks when we don’t have money for schools, for sidewalks, for potholes on our streets, and for addressing violence in our communities. We can work together to accomplish our shared goals.”

The following quote can be attributed to Denisse Hernandez, Ward 58 Central Committee member and leader with Franklin County Democrats United:

“My constituents are tired of corruption in Franklin County. The people of Franklin County are tired of coronations. I’m here because I’m committed to cleaning up our city and strengthening our party. I want a meaningful voice at this table, because I’m committed to building a better future and a unified party. All of us stand here today because we want an open democratic process and a chance at a fair shot to have our voices heard.”

The following quote can be attributed to Willis Brown, Ward 07 Central Committee member and leader with Count Me In:

“We can build a better Columbus, but it’s going to take faith. I believe that now, more than ever, the Democratic Party needs to be a unified force for freedom, democracy, racial justice, economic opportunity and participation for all. In order to win in November, we need to be the party that values the voices and ideas of everyday people and gives all of us a stronger voice.”

The following quote can be attributed to Adam Parsons, a leader with Central Ohio Grassroots for Bernie Sanders:

“We want a party that includes the opinions of working families, not just the ultra-wealthy. Forty-five percent of Democrats in Franklin County voted for Bernie Sanders. This is an indication that people believe the system is rigged and our democracy is broken. These voters believe in a big vision for the future, where we have money to invest in education. They want good jobs and decent benefits for all residents, so everyone has a decent quality of life. They know the only way to take our democracy back is to get big money out of politics.”

If you're interested in getting reactions or remarks after the Central Committee meeting, feel free to contact the following contacts:

Will Petrik,, 614-507-8941
Willis Brown,, 614-508-4084 
Adam Parsons,, 614-859-9085
Mario Cespedes,, 614-570-4569
Deb Steele,, 614-323-1703