Petition signatures for a vote on Columbus City Council Districts to be presented
For the past several years, there have been efforts made to reform Columbus City Council to make it more responsive to neighborhoods. The most recent began last September: Represent Columbus has been gathering signatures for a citizen-initiated amendment to our city charter. We are very close to submitting those signatures for validation to put this on the ballot for a vote, and we would like to meet and share this proposal to reform our government with you.
How does this Proposal Compare to the Current Council?
This Issue Has Been Unresolved for Decades
With our city’s size, our small 7 member council with no neighborhood-based representation simply doesn’t work — a sentiment that has been expressed in neighborhoods and also at the highest levels of city governance for decades, but the simple solution has always been repressed by various factions of political leadership for partisan purposes.
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It is past time that we, as citizens, revisit our charter for the purpose of changing our council to make it reflect current conditions and the breadth and diversity of our people and our neighborhoods. The form of government is ours to create as we like, and there is a growing consensus in favor of a change to better represent our many neighborhoods.
Unlike past efforts, Represent Columbus has been internally validating signatures as they come in, and our current count shows that we are over the 17,500 valid signature threshold required to put this issue on the ballot, and we are gathering even more for about the next ten days when we plan to submit the petitions for validation. The Ohio Constitution requires a vote between 60 – 120 days following certification of the requisite number of signatures by council, which would indicate a likely August 2nd Special Election on this issue.
We would be very happy to come you your meeting to discuss this proposal with you and/or your commission. During our previous attempt about a year ago that sought an 11 member council, that proposal received the voted support of those we presented it to: Greater Hilltop Area Commission, Livingston Avenue Area Commission, Near East Area Commission, Clintonville Area Commission, Milo Grogan Area Commission, and Westland Area Commission. We would like to again solicit support from those commissions, and present to others as well, seeking their support.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like for us to share this proposal with you and your members in person. The best way to reach me is by email, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can reach me on my cell at 614-395-1946. Thank you … I hope to talk with you about this exciting chance for our neighborhoods to have consistent and focused political representation.
Jonathan C. Beard, Treasurer