White bald man in white shirt at a podium speaking

Joe Motil

Joe Motil, a longtime community advocate for fairness and equality for Columbus neighborhoods was told by Mayor Andrew Ginther’s office that he was not permitted to represent the Columbus Chapter of the NAACP’s Labor & Industry Committee at the upcoming Construction Trades Career Fair at the Fort Hayes Career Center. The event is being sponsored by the City of Columbus and several other construction trades and related organizations. Mr. Motil serves on the Chapter’s Executive Committee and was recently appointed as Chairman of the Labor & Industry Committee. Furthermore, Joe has worked in the commercial construction industry for 39 years and is retired from Laborers Local 423. For the past 13 years he has worked as a construction safety manager and currently oversees the safety of the $355 million Mt. Carmel Grove City Hospital construction project for Hunt Construction.

In a teleconference this afternoon with the Mayor’s Director of Community Affairs Jason Jenkins and NAACP Chapter President Nana Watson, Mr. Jenkins stated that the mayor did not want any candidates for public office to participate in the event thus Motil was not permitted to represent the NAACP. Mr. Motil is not an official candidate for public office but has been collecting the required 1,000 signatures to get his name on the May primary ballot for Columbus City Council. Those signatures must be delivered to the Franklin County Board of Elections by 4:00pm on Wednesday February 6th.  

Mr. Motil states, “One of the main objectives of the Labor & Industry Committee is to increase minority participation in the building trades. My extensive knowledge of the construction industry from both as a worker and manager can give those who may wish to seek employment in any trade a well-informed assessment of the world of construction and the personal benefits that can be gained from it. I know this business as well as anybody from the inside out”. Motil further claims that, “ Once again Mayor Ginther has shown his true colors while thinking only of politics rather than allowing a concerned citizen the chance to promote what his has spent a lifetime achieving so he may help others to gain employment especially in an industry that sorely needs workers and is lacking in minorities.”  

In conclusion Motil states, “Ginther only see’s these union organizations that are participating in this worthwhile event as campaign donors and not for what the blue collar members of these organizations represent. His talk about wanting to help young people in gaining employment opportunities is obviously disingenuous”.