Three incoming Columbus City Council members outline priorities in 2024
Affordable housing, public safety and more neighborhood representation on Columbus City Council top the list of priorities among three newly council members.
"Everyone needs to be able to have housing that they can afford because you cannot be successful and thrive if you don't have housing stability,” says Nancy Day-Achauer, who was elected from District 2, which encompasses the area of Columbus surrounding Hilliard.
Day-Achauer, an ordained minister and community leader, is one of three new council members elected in November to Columbus City Council, under a new nine-district system. She joins Melissa Green, from District 6, which includes the Hilltop, Westland and Southwest areas of Columbus and Chris Wyche, from District 1, which covers the north area around State Route 161.
Wyche has worked as an external affairs manager with AT&T Ohio.
"We know we have issues related to housing and we want to ensure that we have the jobs necessary for our residents to be successful. But we also need to be concerned about transit,” says Wyche. “As you have three million people moving here by 2050. It's important for us to plant those seeds today.”
Green says her experience as a licensed social worker will guide her decisions on Columbus City Council.
"Helping reinforce and helping to build a social and human services system here in Columbus that's equitable and accessible for people who might be experiencing hardship is hopefully going to be my top priority while on council,” says Green.
Columbus city officials have been working on an affordable housing strategy as the city’s population grows and housing production slows. Day-Achauer says denser housing must be a primary issue.
"You can have a large apartment complex and have it be (aesthetically pleasing) and fit in with the character of your community," says Day-Achauer. "There are, unfortunately, a lot of areas where people don't want apartments, where people want everything to be single family homes with large lots. And the issue with that is we don't have enough land to house everyone."
Green is looking forward to reaching out to residents in the Hilltop and other western parts of Columbus.
"I think that representation matters,” says Green. “And having diverse perspectives and voices sitting around the table help us create sounder, more holistic policy."
Wyche says this is an opportunity for better representation.
“If folks are having issues and problems, instead of them trying to scour the city's website to understand who's the committee chair what and know exactly who to go to, they'll just go to their neighbor and say, 'Hey, you know, this is a problem. Can you help us out'," Wyche said. “I'm looking forward to being that voice for my neighbors and I think it'll really serve the city well."