|SR 161 Special Improvement District|
Councilmember Hearcel F. Craig championed legislation that will provide additional funding for the efforts of the Northland Alliance to create a special improvement district (SID) along S.R. 161. Once established through a voluntary petition process, a SID allows business owners within a defined geographical area to raise funds for mutually beneficial district-wide services and improvements.
|Landscape Enhancement or Beautification in Public Spaces Grant Program|
The Landscape Enhancement/Beautification in Public Spaces Grant program was created in 2008 by Columbus City Councilmember Priscilla Tyson. This is a competitive grant program available to community based organizations who were currently maintaining flower gardens or other landscaped areas in parks and public spaces controlled by Columbus Recreation and Parks. Each organization was required to provide a 1:1 dollar match from the grantee. The value of in-kind donations and volunteer labor were taken into consideration. This partnership between non-profit community groups and the City was developed to assist people who plant and maintain flowers in our city parks.
|Office of Homeless Advocacy|
The Office of Homeless Advocacy will coordinate efforts in the public and private sectors to transition people from the streets to permanent housing. The office will also address the critical issues of providing mental health and addiction services to the homeless, as well as job training and placement.
|Walk & Talk|
In a creative way to initiate feedback from Columbus residents, Councilmember Priscilla Tyson developed the neighborhood Walk and Talk. This effort not only allows members of the community to provide comments face-to-face to Council, its ultimate goal is to promote an active and healthy lifestyle through walking.
Councilmember and Public Safety Chair Andrew J. Ginther initiated a review and examination of local scrap metal industry practices in early 2007 as a result of the growing number of incidences of scrap metal theft in the community.
|Area Commission-Neighborhood Civic Association Work Group|
For the first time since the creation of Area Commissions, Columbus City Council has empanelled a work group to study the role of neighborhood organizations and their interaction with city government. The work group is comprised of one representative from each of the fourteen Area Commissions, and representaives from the major civic organizations.
One of the most successful neighborhood safety programs is the Community Crime Patrol (CCP), a long-time collaboration between a local non-profit organization using civilian patrollers and the Columbus Police Department. Current neighborhoods with service include the Hilltop, Franklinton, Merion Southwood, the Ohio State University area and several multi-use trails around the City. Councilmember Andrew J. Ginther continue the historic support for this program.
|Preventing Domestic Violence|
Council President Michael C. Mentel and Councilmembers Andrew J. Ginther and Hearcel F. Craig have been strong advocates for programs that aim to prevent domestic violence, or which give assistance to domestic violence victims. Annually, Columbus police respond to approximately 23,000 domestic violence calls and make approximately 5,000 domestic violence arrests.
|Protecting the Environment - Big Darby Watershed|
Columbus City Council has been fighting to save one of Central Ohios most important natural resources from degradation--the Big Darby Creek Watershed. Designated by the Nature Conservancy as one of the Last Great Places in the Western Hemisphere, encroaching development and storm runoff from farming threatens the rich array of wildlife found in the watershed, including 103 species of fish and 38 species of mussels, at least 104 species of birds, 35 species of mammals, and 33 species of reptiles and amphibians. More than 25 rare or endangered plant species are also dependent upon the corridor areas of the watershed.
|Creative Arts Policy Initiative|
Confronted by the challenges of changing times for arts, culture and creative industries in Central Ohio, City Council formed the Creative Columbus Policy Steering Committee to research and offer policy recommendations to Council. The committee was chaired by Wayne Lawson, former Executive Director of the Ohio Arts Council.
|Animal Abuse and Family Violence Task Force|
Domestic abuse and animal cruelty often go hand in hand. Councilmember Michael C. Mentel leads the effort to form a community coalition of concerned advocates, including law enforcement agencies, animal rights groups, and child advocacy agencies, working to make it easier for women and children to escape domestic violence situations by giving a safe haven for family pets that might be under threat.
|Earned Income Tax Credit Campaign|
Earned Income Tax Credit Campaign
Instituted by Congress in 1975, The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is considered one of the most effective anti-poverty programs in the country. Working individuals and families earning up to $ $48,362 in 2010 may be able to claim a credit up to $5,666, depending on total income and dependents.
|Smokefree Indoor Air|
The City of Columbus Smokefree Indoor Air ordinance was voted on at the June 28, 2004 meeting of Council. The ordinance passed 5 to 1. In November 2004, Columbus residents upheld restrictions on indoor smoking in the general election. Since that time a statewide smokefree indoor air act was passed by votes during the fall election of 2006.
|Community Health and Welfare|
Councilmember Charleta Tavares has been a consistent leader in advocating socially conscience public policy that meets the needs of the less fortunate residents of Columbus.
|Columbus Bikeway and Trail System|
Council was an early proponent of expanding a regional bikeway and trails system in Columbus and Franklin County. At year-end 2005, the system consisted of 60 miles. In 2008, City Council adopted the Columbus Bicentennial Bikeways Plan.
|Legislative Agent (lobbyist) Registration|
Led by the efforts of Council President Michael C. Mentel, the Columbus Lobbyist Registration provides greater accountability for those agents hired to lobby City Hall, while protecting the rights of citizens to meet with and address City Council members and the Administration at any time for any reason.
Councilmember Priscilla Tyson has continued the effort to improve safety in playgrounds for Columbus school children. In 2007, Councilmember Tyson modifyed the City's Capital Improvement Budget to include funds to improve additional City-owned playgrounds.
Understanding the importance of giving youth opportunities for productive activities and acquiring critical job skills that prepare them for their future endeavors, Councilmember Charleta Tavares together with a coalition including The Central Ohio Workforce Investment Corporation, the administration, and Franklin County stepped up efforts in 2006. The City provided $500,000 and is continuing the investment in young people in 2007 with $600,000 in City funding to find 2,000 jobs.