October 2023

Statement on CCS Levy & ENC letter

October 3, 2023

Yesterday, members of the Equity Now Coalition (ENC) Executive Committee released a letter expressing their personal views about the proposed Columbus City Schools levy. The following is a statement from Stephanie Hightower, member of the ENC Executive Committee and President and CEO of the Columbus Urban League:

The Equity Now Coalition (ENC) Executive Committee was asked to endorse the proposed Columbus City Schools (CCS) levy by the Board of Education. We met, and we realized that we could not in good conscience offer full unconditional support. So, instead we crafted a letter reflecting our best ideas about how to engage the community and develop a proposal that aligns with good governance and community needs. The letter reflected our views as individuals who care deeply about CCS and should not be misconstrued as a reflection of the position taken by the organizations for which we work.

Let’s be clear: We are strong supporters of and advocates for the District and the children and families it serves. As leader of one of our community’s strongest advocates for racial equity and social justice for more than a century, I know firsthand the challenges facing many of the children in the district, most of whom are of children of color. I also can attest to how many in our community struggle financially, especially older adults on fixed incomes. Others on the ENC Executive Team joined me in pointing out that, if we’re asking families to make a greater sacrifice, it only seems appropriate that the District should do everything possible to listen to their needs and assure them of full transparency and accountability – which is why we offered our suggestions.

Should the levy pass, we will celebrate because we are committed to CCS. But, if it does not, I am equally certain that we will immediately volunteer to team up with the District and create an approach that responds to our young people and our taxpayers and is positioned for success at the ballot box.

Stephanie Hightower
President & CEO


Read more: ENC letter in Dispatch
Article from Dispatch: Opposition mounts to CCS levy


About The Columbus Urban League

The 105-year-old Columbus Urban League (CUL) is an advocate and resource for Black and urban communities that is dedicated to growing wealth, education, earning power and small businesses while also supporting strong families. Driven to advance racial equity and social justice, CUL has distinguished itself as an effective organization in numerous ways, including as one of only ten organizations to be selected for funding by One Million Black Women and by earning ranking as one of the top five percent of all 93 National Urban League affiliates. For more information, visit

For more information, contact Colin Baumgartner, The Collective Genius, 614-441-5576

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