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Columbus City Council member Elizabeth Brown stepping down to lead YWCA

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Elizabeth Brown
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Brown has pushed several pieces of legislation related to fighting racism and promoting gender equity.

Columbus City Council member Elizabeth Brown is leaving her post to lead the YWCA of Columbus.

Brown currently serves as council's President Pro Tempore. She was first elected in 2015 and re-elected in 2019. Brown’s first day leading the YWCA will be January 2.

“President Pro Tempore Brown is a tireless advocate for Columbus families and understands that it takes many partners to serve the public effectively. While she will be missed on Council, we are excited to see what she achieves at the YWCA. Additionally, I also want to thank Christie Angel for her leadership and partnership at the YWCA for the past 5 years,” read a written statement from other city council members.

During her time in office Brown, the daughter of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, has pushed several pieces of legislation related to fighting racism and promoting gender equality. She currently serves as the executive director of the Ohio Women’s Public Policy Network.

Some critics of city government, including potential mayoral candidate Joe Motil, were quick to criticize the departure as the latest example of a political machine in city hall where council members frequently resign to give their replacement the benefit of incumbency in their first election.

“And the timing of this announcement also plays right into the usual City Council and Franklin County Democratic Party playbook. Just in time to give a new appointee some advantage of incumbency on City Council prior to the May 2023 City Council Primary District Elections,” Motil said in a statement. "Odds are that the new appointee will not live in the same district as any of the current 6 City Council incumbents.”

A new council district system approved by voters in 2018 takes effect next year. It expands the council from seven members to nine members. One member will live in each district, but will still be elected "at-large" by voters across the city.

Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.