Man with protest sign

Citizens concerned with corruption and accountability in the City of Columbusheld a non-partisan rally to peacefully protest the corruption at Columbus City Hall on Wednesday, September 9; 5:00pmwhere a fundraiser for Andy Ginther was happening at Strongwater Food & Spirits, 401 W Town St. in Franklinton.

Some of Columbus’s most wealthy elite came face to face with 35-40 concerned citizens outside Mayor Coleman’s Fundraiser for his anointed mayoral Candidate Andrew Ginther.In the wake of the scandal in which former Redflex CEO pleaded guilty to bribing Columbus elected officials to the tune of $20,000 and the recent dropping out of Columbus City Council Pro Tem Michelle Mills, the City of Columbus has become synonymous with the word corruption. 

“It has become clear to citizens of Columbus that in our city elections as well as the elected officials they produce are all part of a pay-to-play system that leaves us more disconnected from the governance of their city than ever before.” said Columbus resident Ruben Castilla.

While voicing the call against city-wide corruption, the group holds demands for ward representation in the City of Columbus, a Community Review Board for the Columbus Police Dept., an end to voter suppression, and to stop the influence of corporate money in politics. “There is much work to do to clean up our city and make it one that truly represents the people, not just those with the largest pockets.” said Columbus resident Nicholas Pasquarello.

Speakers were Jon Beard - Represent Columbus, Carolyn Harding - Columbus Bill of Rights, Haley Swenson - International Socialist Organization, Drew Martinez - Empire and Company and Sandy Bolzeniu - Move to Amend.

See pictures on Facebook Community Page:Columbus Above Ground -

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

· Columbus citizens do not feel that they are being heard or represented.

· We want to clean up our city and take our democracy back at the local level.

· We need to take money out of politics to create a government that is responsive to its citizens.

· We do not have fair & equitable representation for the diversity of residents and neighborhoods in Columbus.  We need a Ward System so that citizens are represented in City Council

· The City of Columbus must allow its residents to bring forth ballot initiatives without unending bureaucracy and a process that encourages change.

· We need a Community Review Board overseeing police activity on the city level.  We do not trust the police to monitor police activity.

· We need to have Columbus residents educated and organized to respond to the corruption and hold elected officials accountable to their constituents.

· We will remain diligent and continue to make this the crisis that it is and confront all elected officials to ensure that this issue is front and center in the public sphere.

- We will not be afraid to speak from our level of truth, our experience, as who we are and not be fearful of repercussions from the powers that be.

- This is the first of other direct actions at Ginther events.

Photos by Tekla Lewin