Columbus has the opportunity to lead the nation as a progressive, diverse, safe, technology-friendly city. I am committed to the pursuit of real and meaningful change to improve the lives of our youth and families, and create a strong economic base for our minority communities. I am currently working for a black owned business, have been doing community organizing work with the People’s Justice Project and have been coaching football for the past two years at my alma matter, Northland High School. In 2015, I earned a Master’s of Public Affairs from the University of Texas with a focus on education policy and local government. In combining my direct experience growing and working in our communities, along with my policy background, I am confident I have the knowledge experience, and values to help move Columbus in a more equitable direction.
I have deep love for Columbus. Our schools, churches, recreation centers and incredible citizens have shaped me into the person I am today. The people of Columbus are diverse, resilient, caring, and genuine. As the economic engine of the state, Columbus provides good opportunities to many of its citizens. Unfortunately, many working-class households and neighborhoods of color are not benefiting from the recent growth.
I will fight for safer communities:
- Using proven community-centric policing models that provide the best training for officers working in diverse urban environments.
- Ensuring access to treatment and trauma recovery programs for victims of violent crime. Special attention will be given to our youth in Columbus City Schools that have witnessed the deaths of their fellow students.
- Ensuring all housing is up to code and without lead paint
I will advocate for equitable economic development by:
- Encouraging economic growth while protecting public housing, small and minority owned businesses and encouraging new housing developments to be mixed income.
- Bolstering and evaluating existing jobs programs, especially those targeted towards youth and returning citizens.
- Ensuring tax breaks are a net positive for the city and its residents, and allowing small and minority owned businesses more access to these tax abatements.
Minority Owned Businesses
There are several solutions I would like to propose to help current minority owned businesses and those looking to start their own. Successful minority owned businesses are the key to economic freedom in our communities.
- Improve access to and knowledge of City, State, and Federal grants available to minority owned businesses
- Increased use of social media marketing for programs offered by the city
- Hosting more events in accessible locations (rec centers, schools, churches)
- Provide mentorship for first time business owners
- Pairing successful minority owned businesses with new businesses owners
- Sharing institutional knowledge within our own community
Jasmine Ayres Candidate for Columbus City Council
This appeared in OhioMBE – April 15, 2017