A Fresh Perspective on Columbus Council
With the election just around the corner and absentee voting happening now, in the 15th largest city in the US, Columbus, Ohio sees a very young professional, goal oriented and ambitious democratic City Council ticket. We got a chance to sit down with current member and candidate Shannon Hardin and candidate for Council Elizabeth Brown. We talked about urban living, millennial challenges, ways to solve the poverty issues in the city and small business development.
First, we met with the public service advocate and new mother of young newborn Carolyn, born just this October, Elizabeth Brown. Elizabeth, or as her friends call her, Liz, comes from a long line of public servants with her father, United States Senator Sherrod Brown having served in public office for decades and her mother, Social Service Advocate for lowincome seniors, Larke Recchie.
Elizabeth, for many years, lived in the dynamic Short North Arts District in the heart of Columbus and previously lived in NYC for 5 years. She runs for a vital seat on City Council with the intention of tackling poverty issues, transportation infrastructure challenges, ways to attract new business retain current employers here in Columbus. ‘Our city is growing at such an accelerated rate and these are the issues and challenges I am focused on improving as a team on Council,’ Liz expressed.
Liz invites all new comers and visitors to Columbus to make sure to stop by all of our ‘foodie’ spots and make sure to support local boutiques and emerging fashion brands as we are growing in small business, we must continue to support local as well. As a new mom, she is looking forward to leading the city on Council and raising her daughter in the most dynamic place.
When we spoke with Councilman Shannon Hardin, current member on Council and running for the seat again this season, we were impressed by his demeanor and candor about the issues facing the youth of today, his passion for supporting the small business community and his love of community and engagement. His friends call him Shannon so while running to keep his seat on Council, Shannon could not wait to tell us how excited he was about working with the rest of the Council candidates on his ticket, Elizabeth Brown, Jaiza Paige, Zach Klein and Michael Stinziano.
Shannon enlightened us about different initiatives in the city that he helped implement alongside Mayor Coleman, like Applications for Purpose, Pride and Success (APPS) program which serves the at-risk youth population. This program is modeled after a similar one in LA with the intent to target prevention and intervention. Shannon goes on to explain the success rate and its current 5 year life with the city. Shannon had the opportunity to learn about leadership and passion for community from Mayor Michael B. Coleman who has been serving as acting Mayor for 16 years and has developed Columbus into what it is today. (Stay tuned for our exclusive with Mayor Coleman in the coming weeks!)
Shannon’s other passion is minority business and small business growth and development. Shannon, a Columbus south side native, colors Columbus as an animated city with so much talent and culture. He serves on the minority business committee on Council and he plans to continue his mission in supporting small businesses and owners to take the leap and open in Columbus and stay in Columbus.
Elizabeth and Shannon both shared their love of travel with us. Elizabeth tells of her love affair with Dubrovnik, Croatia and it’s perfect weather, ambiance and of course, food! Shannon shared is unforgettable days in Egypt and the Middle East in general. He spoke of the hospitality of the people and the mind blowing sites of the ancient pyramids.
In a growing city with a lifestyle easy to dive into, Columbus is full of talent and passion for the future. After sitting with these two very energetic candidates for Council, we are elated for the coming days as a young professional team takes on some of the toughest issues facing our city.