Woman speaking at podium outside at press conference

A bipartisan group of Columbus residents, led by Whitney Scott, unveiled citizens’ latest effort to reform Columbus City Council. The group, Represent Columbus, seeks to move Columbus City Council from its current setup with seven members, all elected in citywide elections (at large), and form a 13 member council, with three members elected at large and 10 elected by their neighbors in each of ten districts to be created and revised every ten years by an independent apportionment board.
  The group, which filed a certified pre-circulation copy with the city clerk on September 2nd, formally launched the effort on the south steps of City Hall, on October 19th. Scott, the campaign leader, introduced former Republican Mayoral candidate Bill Todd, who talked about how unbalanced the city has become, dominated by a small group of political insiders. Democratic candidate for Mayor Zach Scott talked about his support for a council elected by districts, and offered his continuing support to see there is a vote if elected to the office. Burhan Ahmed, a representative of the Somali community, talked about how Somalis don’t feel represented by council, and Democrat former council candidate Will Petrik relayed his experiences as he traveled across the city campaigning and listening to people who didn’t feel like their government represented them. He further relayed that political advisors were telling him that it takes $100,000 in campaign funds to be elected to this at large City Council, expressing doubt that most people from the Hilltop, or Linden or many other neighborhoods in Columbus could raise that kind of money and run competitive citywide campaigns in urging the move to less expensive and more competitive elections by council district.

More information about the initiative can be found at Represent Columbus’s Facebook page, or at www.representcolumbus

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