February 2023

Columbus City Council proposes operating budget for 2023

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Columbus City Council has announced its priorities for the city’s operating budget in 2023.

By: Jonathan Jackson

Monday, February 6th, 2023

The proposal includes $23 million dollars in new amendments to the city’s billion-dollar general fund aiming to improve the quality of life for residents.

“What you will see from the amendments of this council, is a commitment to say that the next chapter of Columbus, every resident has to share in our success story,” said Nicholas Bankston, a Columbus City councilmember.

Those amendments include improving access to affordable housing, increasing workforce development, and creating safer neighborhoods through non-violent response units.

“To do a non-police, pilot, response pilot. Similar to a program that was started in Dayton about two years ago, that sends out non-police officers to low acuity, non-violent incidents,” said President Shannon Hardin of the Columbus City Council.

In addition, the plan to expand affordable housing would provide tenant protections for low-income residents, a concept that was pushed for by the Columbus Urban League.

“Our assets in this community are all of our people, not certain neighborhoods, not certain demographics but all of our people,” said Stephanie Hightower, president and CEO of the Columbus Urban League.

Hightower said these initiatives are crucial in creating equity within Columbus.

“Housing, safe neighborhoods, workforce development, we need to make sure that everybody has access to all of those priorities,” said Hightower.

City council will pass these amendments next on Feb. 13, and then it will be turned over to the mayor for approval.

Read the story here.
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