COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Residents on the north side of Columbus had the chance to speak one-on-one with city council members about the problems affecting them as part of a series of community meetings council is holding throughout the city.
Wednesday’s meeting was held at the Park of Roses in Clintonville, and residents there said the two main areas of concern are affordable housing and public safety.
“In the last few years I’ve lived here, almost seven years, we’ve seen a decline in just the overall community and an increase in violence,” said resident Lisset Mendoza. “Our home almost gotten broken into two weeks ago, so it’s the scariest thing that has ever happened to our family.”
That experience moved her to attend the meeting and talk to Columbus City Council members.
“It was 1:30 a.m. and our ADT security system went off,” Mendoza said. “Someone was trying to get in. We called the police but those five minutes before they got there were the scariest of our lives.”
Other residents voiced concerns about affordable housing.
“We tend to make everything kind of black and white, rich and poor, and that’s not really what it is,” resident Sandy Simbro said. “It has to do with density of housing and defining density and defining affordable and when we talk about diversity, diversity isn’t just, it’s age and race and socioeconomic. It’s everything.”
These candid reactions are what council members said they hope for.
“It’s always not about getting the answer that somebody wants but making sure that they know that their elected officials are listening,” Council President Shannon Hardin said.
Which is how both Mendoza and Simbro felt.
“I do and I just need to follow up because I didn’t get the answers that I wanted,” Mendoza said.
“I don’t know that they will change their mind or have a new thought, but if they go home and think about our conversation, then it was worth it,” Simbro said.