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Councilmember Priscilla Tyson Announces Retirement

Columbus City Councilmember Priscilla Tyson
Columbus City Council
Columbus City Councilmember Priscilla Tyson announced she will not seek re-election and will be retiring at the end of the year.

At the end of this year, Councilmember Priscilla Tyson will step down, bringing an end to a 14 year run on Columbus City Council. WOSU’s Nick Evans has more.

Tyson’s decade plus tenure on council makes her the longest serving woman to hold the post in the city’s history. In that time she helped establish the commission on Black girls and create a partnership with the county to fight food insecurity. But the accomplishment Tyson brings up first is updating the city’s civil rights code.

“To protect people on the basis of age disability sex gender identity or expression, family status and military status in terms of employment, public accommodation and housing,” Tyson describes.

Much of her work on council has aimed at fighting different forms of discrimination. She also passed a Columbus version of the CROWN Act.

“And that is to ensure that individuals based on race would no longer discriminated against for wearing their hair in their natural protective hairstyles,” Tyson says.

The name stands for or Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair. Versions of the measure have passed in eight states including California, Virginia and New York as well as cities like Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Albuquerque. Cincinnati, Akron and Newburg Heights are other Ohio municipalities that have signed on.

Tyson was slated to run in November’s election but she has submitted a letter to remove her name from the ballot. The five-member committee that nominated her can choose someone to run in her place by majority vote.

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.