On August 2nd, Columbus, Ohio voters will be going to the polls, not to elect someone new but to decide whether Issue 1 will pass or fail.
What is Issue 1? Well, the long and short of it is there are two groups: Represent Columbus and One Columbus.
Represent Columbus is pro-issue 1 which sees to increase the size of City Council, from seven seats to twenty. This will create a potential 25 new government positions. Represent Columbus argues that Columbus’s neighborhoods are being neglected by the small City-Council, currently of which there are only seven. These council members were also all elected at-large, which is contrast to electoral districting.
One Columbus is against issue 1, instead arguing the potential 25 new positions, each reportedly paying $80,000 a year “is a risk Columbus residents can’t afford,” Brian Clark, campaign manager for One Columbus said, according to ThisWeek. One Columbus has also laid claim that this initiative would create in-fighting between City Council members which currently is 100% Democratic.
So far, 39,000 people have signed the petition to get it placed before voters. Columbus, Ohio is the largest city in the United States without ward representation.
Phillip Kim, a well-liked Columbus local, had this to say, “I am very conflicted on Issue One. I absolutely agree that representation is crucial, and that the Ward System offers the possibility for better representation. But I have trouble feeling comfortable with the aftermath: will the community be able to actually vote in individuals who represent the people, or will be the big parties still influence those seats? My heart says YES, my head says NO.”
Regardless of your stance, it is important to vote.
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