Tim Fulton  00:08

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the confluence cast presented by Columbus underground. We are a weekly Columbus centric podcast focusing on the civics, lifestyle, entertainment, and people of our city. I’m your host, Tim Fulton. This week. In anticipation of this fall’s election, the confluence cast is endeavoring to introduce Columbus voters to the 12 Council, and two mayoral candidates in their own words. In today’s interview, Luis Gil candidate for District Two discusses his background and why he’s running for council. From his early life and Venezuela to his community involvement here in the United States. Luis opens up about what drives him to serve his community, and how he envisions the future. You can get more information on what we discussed today in the show notes for this episode at the confluence cast.com. Enjoy the interview. Sitting down here with Luis Gil, candidate for Columbus City Council for District Two Mr. Gill, how are you, sir?

Luis Gil  01:13

Great. Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today.

Tim Fulton  01:16

No, absolutely. Can we start off just by walking us through who you are, what your background is. And you know, as that relates to your candidacy for council?

Luis Gil  01:25

Well, thank you very much for that. My name is Luis Gil. I was born in Venezuela, I had a tragic family event, which is my mom dies when I was 16. And my mom always had that, you know, vision that I should come to the United States someday. Okay, even though way back when I was 567 years old. And one of the things that’s what you want and No, fortunately pass and her very young at 36 years old. It was already the seed planted in my head in Walla things do happen that way. It was not an easy thing to do. But the fact of the matter, that was her vision, and I had to use to give you a little bit of, you know, the background or the decision coming to Ohio, I’m talking over 30 years ago, the Latino community was very small, and so on. But migrating from Venezuela when he was at the time one of the richest country in South America, why leave you know, is one of the things that he was part of the you know, this this destination for me to go. So anyway. So as I was being asked to where I wanted to go, you know, the obvious thing was la Miami, New York is things that you saw on TV, you know, very young age. And then I went to say goodbye to a friend in SLA elsewhere in the elevator in Caracas, Venezuela. The guy comes out and you say, Hey, I heard that you’re going overseas. So yeah, where are you going? So I’m not sure go to Ohio. That was that was it? Okay, so I came to Athens, Ohio for the first time. And then I moved to Toledo. And then Toledo move to a small town called Forrest. That’s when I got married and five kids in. And that’s it. So basically, so going to my background I studied for to be a mechanical engineering at the University of Toledo. And for the first time in the lifetime of Venezuela, historically, the economy went down the tubes, wax in the you know, 7080s And fortunately, my dad got a phone call from my dad said, you’re on your own, you’re going to have to, you know, fend for yourself. He can’t support you anymore. Yeah, you can’t do that. Even though I came in with some kind of scholarship, there was not enough, you know, to do that. So anyway, so I had to diverge myself and to go into business. Went to work for a great company for you know, over 10 years in this company was in charge of parking lots is consistent parking at a time in you know, there were managers and owners of parking lots and garages throughout, you know, Ohio and basically, you know, the whole United States. So those are the background I you know, marry have five kids went on my own I started my own business, I went into the the insurance business went into now translating at the time was essential. So Spanish community is somebody that can translate to speak both languages. It was very essential at the time. Currently, I translate for three different courts, you know, in Wayne County, Harding County, and in Lima, Allen County. So those are stuff that are keeps me busy traveling and all the stuff and going there. You know, on Tuesday, what one one county on Wednesday, another county enters another county. So they already pre programmed people that Spanish speakers that have to go into court. They say Well Mr. Gill V Hill on Wednesday. So we’re scheduled towards, so let’s stuff that is have work in, you know, very, pays very well, in, in law politics. When I arrived to this country, Ronald Reagan was the president, I was at 19 years old, in curse with the background law in politics from back home, in the things that have happened in Venezuela with Chavez and all that, you know, horrible moments of change in Venezuela forever growing as a president, so I can look into Republicans and, you know, conservative, because that’s all I saw, you know, 1920 years old, you know, you can easily be indoctrinated, you know, at the moment, you know, so I consider myself at the middle of the graph, you know, middle the, you know, the party, where the fact of, you know, radical doesn’t go with me, either way, you know, okay, so and that’s, that’s a part that I can translate into, you know, why be conservative, you know, okay, so,

Tim Fulton  06:00

so you’ve run before? Yes, you ran for free Commissioner franklin county commissioners, talk me through what your passion is to run and to? Is it simply you want to serve? Or is this uh, you want to implement certain policies in the city in the area? what’s your what’s your motivation?

Luis Gil  06:21

Well, my motivation, so it has been the, you know, that little guy to be left behind. They, you know, they there’s so many opportunities that I have been blessed in so many ways, you know, first of all, how five kids overachievers, you know, um, divorce in, in the amazing we were over the weekend together and seeing them, you know, flourish nicely to this great country. So I see the path that many people can take, no, you know, there’s a lot of ingredients into how you life is gonna, you know, be, you know, forward into the future. You know, I’m talking especially younger generations, but you know, there’s a factor which is I always consider is a 1% Is it a 10% or 5% luck? You happen to be in the right place at the right time with the right people? It doesn’t stop there happened to me, you know, I became actively engaged when even though being in a small town I helped the judge I had the mayor help the you know, efficiently conservatee you know party in in those who are still motivated me to meet people I mean, I can tell you with great honor is that I have met by handshake every president united states except Trump and then by the now okay, I made you know, Clinton Obama Obama spoke Spanish to me when we

Tim Fulton  07:47

mess away you’ve got Reagan both Bush’s Clinton and Obama

Luis Gil  07:51

handshake Okay, yes. And I mean literally you know, what are the ads for somebody you know, especially we go the background it no even American people can say that you know, because and then you know when they came to me you know, when they come to Columbus I assisted i mean i when when Bush the son came to Lima he I was literally have my son on my shoulders and we were right behind him and guess what happens on the lab on us my pictures this is the front page of the library news with my son Oh my shoulders there we go now implant and of course he walked by and you know handshake I mean, that says you can’t say anything you got split seconds you know I mean yeah, but they were the Obama was very very very amazing because they all amigo and then we took he got by finally we took a selfie. You know, that’s, those are the stuff that are immediate, immediate, a made me open my my Spectrum. Not so you know, no one party can change everything we all together to this industry. Part of that I want to bring to you know, the city council, you know, right now is just, you know, do we make, how do we make progress in the ravine divided? But my thing is the future, how do we get those kids from early on? You know, we have rampid crimes. And of course, we can get into that subject.

Tim Fulton  09:12

Well, you’re right in front of me. Right. The next question is, is what are the issues that are facing Columbus,

Luis Gil  09:18

I believe, if we, if not, I’m not running for school board. But education will be the key to many issues that happen in an inner city. If we if we get that somehow strengthen those kids to look at the vision but my thing, having a math, mine, physics, chemistry, we start giving those ingredients to those kids early on, it will scare them. I mean, I believe that, you know, some of those kids, they’re going into middle school and high school, they’re scared to death to take science classes, because they love being taught or fed into their mind is going to be okay, you know, and those are the stuff that we Create a path for, you know, for those kids. And granted, you know, again, I’m gonna run for school board. At the same time, the city and the city council can be instrumental to help those inner cities to, you know, look up, look at what’s happening, you know, every week and every week every day, crime is getting younger and younger. So those are the stuff that does the passion that I would like to bring for city council. And how do we gave them the tools so they can make I mean, we have great tools coming in right now. I give an example Intel, Intel concreate is going to create? Well, you already put Columbus international map. Yeah, no. So we’re one of the cities that the you know, I was looking at Cairo, Harris that changing Columbus, even now, I heard people that are coming to Columbus. And, you know, granted, we’re not going to talk about, you know, buying house, cash, you know, $700,000 $500,000 in inner cities. You know, I learned from a local company, a local institution, let’s put it that way. They have purchased 21 houses in London, to renovate them to you know, create houses attractive to who because their purchase this house is at 90 $100,000 in two, three years, they already worth $200,000. So is it investment for themselves? Is it something that they see that we don’t see, you know, real quick because they they’re concentrating on to the future? I don’t know what it is. But all I know and I can tell you for fat because a walk any every city, inner city in Columbus, Linden Southland itself feel very rarely I kind of walk with them. And I’m friends with the with the commissioners, you know, and they always tell me that they see the changes in the neighborhood, or somebody’s purchasing house and not knowing who they are. And they they know so much they get worried, but the biggest worry is property tax. Okay, those houses that are, you know, they’re purchasing 80,000, they got $200,000, you know, is is eventual, they’re going to increase the property tax in, they’re not gonna go just because the house is every single house. So those people that has been there for a long time, you know, 2030 years live there, they’re going to be affected by, you know, by that increment.

Tim Fulton  12:34

I mean, do you believe, though, that there’s enough of an increase that those folks are being like, literally pushed out of their home? Totally. Okay. That’s

Luis Gil  12:41

the biggest worry or her sister, I have attended meetings where they are really worried what is going to happen to them in 1015 years? You know, so how do we see the council V. Essential? You know, unfortunately, things are not getting better. You see that by crime? Okay. And the crime is getting job in Java. Is a CD investing on the right issue in the right time. You know, we are on the process, historically, they’re going from $1.4 billion budget to 1.7 6 billion, the law, I believe, the largest increment within one year, okay, in the history of the last 15 years, Columbus is a one party in charge of everything, I don’t really. So that’s why I want to bring a little bit of balance I want to be, I like to the way I talk to people and one guy gave me the idea. I want to be that wheel that the 18 Wheeler that is going to be smoking when he’s making the driver stop. Right. While we’ll it will make the driver stop, you know, so do I want I don’t want to be controversial. I just want to make sure that we can refocus a little bit into the city. What’s happening, you know, we have issues in the police department for the last five years, you have a new chief, very amazing, Assistant Chief. I know every single one of them, and I know their heart. And the vision is to make Columbus better. Yeah. Do we have the right ingredient? Do we have the support from from the government to make sure that the police is free to do and trust? I don’t believe so. I do a lot of police officers. And they’re really worry that whatever they do is going to be in the microscope of the public is going to be you know, the head, they’re hesitant, you know, granted the CD, the CD is investing quite a bit on Columbus and into minorities. You know, now that we got Somalis, police officers, you know, granted, you know, that’s a great idea. Do Do we have what it takes to make Columbus to change Columbus into a safer city? I don’t think so that we have right now. That’s why somebody like me can bring you an ingredient that is gonna make this path to take a different route. Okay, because it’s important.

Tim Fulton  14:58

Can I press you there on what So, you’ve talked about education as a key there. I don’t know that education really addresses anything that’s happening with the police force, you could make training arguments, right? Yeah. Yeah. What role do you think City Council should play in helping to address that?

Luis Gil  15:16

I believe that the people of Columbus so the residents are hungry for a change. Okay. When I say that, in terms of your question is, they know, the current path is now working crime is rampant right now. I mean, you got Carson, you know, upside down, you know, I mean, because a young kid, it was driving with, you know, high speed into the streets of Columbus, you know, what are the ingredients? Why is that bringing that path? I believe by changing one thing in the city council, it can have repercussions, or have wave, you know, in the city, to make sure that we look things differently. The people are hungry, they tell me in different communities, they say, Mr. Gill, we are supporting you, because we know that we can keep going the same way. We cannot. And one of the things phrases I like to use, you can be doing the same thing as very different results. So those are the things that I want to bring to the table in the US are, you know, right now, my favorite, this 12 candidates, there are nine open seats. Guess what, it just got a little bit bigger, but I’m playing I’m fighting, like I’m losing because of the fact that matter. I want to make sure that I get there. I’m in the new districting. And I would like to create something that Columbus never seen before.

Tim Fulton  16:35

Okay, let’s pivot then to the new districting system, the new structure we have, what thoughts you have on it, how you feel about it?

Luis Gil  16:43

Well, you know, this is something they come up with, you know, the DNA is not too bad. I is not a complete redistricting. Because the fact of the matter that anybody from any part of the city can vote for me, I do have to represent this, you know, the, my, my district, I do have to win my district in order to make it but anybody can vote for me.

Tim Fulton  17:04

How you don’t have to win your district.

Luis Gil  17:07

I do have to win my district currently. I don’t know how they’re gonna monitor that.

Tim Fulton  17:11

So I haven’t heard that. Yeah. And so maybe we’ll edit this out. That’s right. My understanding is that each you are you have to live in the district. Yes, you are representing Yes. But that the voting is simply city wide? Is anyone Yes, any but everybody’s voting forever everybody’s

Luis Gil  17:28

voting for? And that’s my understanding. That’s why I call it you know, use the fray fake districting. Because, you know, it doesn’t make any sense. You know, what, what was sapping or an eye now, but then, you know, those are the rules, right? Now they created rules, they have the majority, the controlling basically everything, well, I want to bring things differently, because the fact of the matter that we can be doing the same thing, you know, you know, the City of Columbus needs us, we’re going to be an international city, and, you know, with a crime that we have, and that is escalating. It’s just something that, uh, we have to cure that illness, somehow, Courbet, we can rather, you know, eradicate crime right now. But the fact of the matter we can put a little bit of breaks is, what happens? Why do I go into education, because education is a factors of those kids, you know, if we can create a different mindset, a different vision, a different dream for those kids, those kids can start thinking differently. Right now, the inner city kids are basically lost in those stuff, hard calm, and these are things that I see how come Dublin Westerville worth in New Albany, they are already creating classes for Intel, some of the stuff that they have to do in order to create a better path for their life doses of in the inner city. I am the one abroad Intel a few years back to the inner cities or to the to the air commissioners, I told him I said listen, you’re missing the ball. This is something that it cannot you know, exponentially gain speed. If we create a path I call I got calls from different pastors. Tell us more about this was going on? How come we don’t know. And those pastors I said, Gil, you had the microphone, tell us what’s going on, you know, and I bring this subject in now they’re engaging in it you were probably I can say that I brought this up two years ago when Intel no even mentioned, you know, Intel when I found out Intel five years ago, girlfriends with the Columbus one, you know, they’re the ones that created that bridge in the budget for Intel was $5 billion and then increment the following year went to seven. Right now. You know what I went to a meeting and about Intel, how they’re creating all the stuff and the interest in the stuff that you hear that you don’t know how come they landed in near Colombo because they’re not in Franklin County, in another county nearby. One taxes You know, that’s number one there, they just created that little boundary. And they said, we’re building right here. And another one is systemic, you know, the earth movement, there has no been air movement, the area for like, over 1000 years, you know, microtia you know how they had to be so precise. The fact of the matter, the king have this kind of stuff happening, you know, any ground movement, that’s why they go in deep, they’re going to make sure they’re assurance that none of this stuff will happen. Isn’t that interesting? Yeah. No, I have no idea. Yeah, so those are the stuff that is not only that was one of the ingredients that created that that area, so appetizers for them for, you know, for Intel, you know, among all the things you know, in, those are the stuff that is is real close to her, to our neighbors, you’re close to the inner city, what are we creating in that stuff that I want to do create a little bridge hack, most of those kids will have no clue what’s happening to the future, we’re talking five years from now, they need close to 20,000 job injuries. Now only that in only that we’re Intel created. Now we have LG going to, uh, you know, very 40 minutes for now, we got the subway batteries, you know, we’re in so many, you know, 40 minutes from here, the destruction they’re gonna create in the highways is going to be amazing. We might have another 270 You know,

Tim Fulton  21:28

outer belt and outer outer belt? Yeah,

Luis Gil  21:31

I don’t belt. A one here is going to be with few exits. So they can be you know, moving traffic very heavy. So it faster. And, you know, my understanding is ating county is going to be affected by Intel. Yeah, in dust tremendous. And we are

Tim Fulton  21:51

we’re basically the epicenter.

Luis Gil  21:53

You know, right, Linda’s right there, what are we going to create those kits nice size on their mind, in the only way to put the open their mind hungry for designs. And when they’re little, so we can expose them. And they’re not afraid when you know, grant that we have to then as a few of mine, that let’s go to the next phase. What do we do with the kids that already graduated? Yeah, we need to create a path for those kids to go back in and recycle them mentally educate with education, to put them back in there. I do know that I found out by my friend of mine was for Intel that Intel might have a program that you can join any you go to the pro for one year, you got a 95% guarantee that you get a jump on Intel. And it’s a one year program that you have to do it. But in order to do that the requirements that you take a little one size class in every year of high school. That’s the requirements you have that they can fit into it.

Tim Fulton  22:52

Got it. Final big question. What basically, why should people vote for you? What’s your what’s your value proposition that you’re bringing to the table here?

Luis Gil  23:03

Well, I care. I’m not doing this for me. I told you during the over the weekend, if I get elected. And I’m not the fact that people will like what I have to say, I want to be behind people push them into the right path. This is not going to be something that for me, I’m not going to be in the front, I’m going to be behind the scenes, because that’s where the power is in Columbus right now. We get behind the scenes and support all those communities and support all this community. And it’s a it’s a little spider web. If you move something here something was you know, a little ugly, a little short distance. Those are the stuff that we have to get with IT leaders in the inner cities, air commissioners because they know what their city needs. They know what their neighborhood needs. They know that families need help all this money. That right now where you know, the largest budget that we have in Columbus and longtime $1.76 billion. I mean, we’re what the 30 is largest city in the in the country. And we are you know, in the crime were 149 or 150. Oh, oh, no, I’m sorry. One 130 Out of the 150 War cities in the country are way there is that the reputation that Columbia wants to have having the one of the largest company international here. I think we can do better. We must do better in the city and the inner city is hungry for being better.

Tim Fulton  24:36

Okay. I end every interview by asking what do you think Columbus is doing? Well, and what do you think Columbus is not doing? So

Luis Gil  24:44

well. One of the things that Kalam was doing were raising money, we’re going okay, seven $6 billion, got approved by everybody in there, which is also putting each other I’ve never seen criticizing the mayor or anybody like that. So according to them, we had the preferred mayor, I think the mayor is somebody that, you know that he needs to, you know, go away and bring new mine. And I don’t mean to get into the subject, but the fact of the matter the City Council is in the same path. This very unfortunately, we don’t have that many challengers to run for city council. And you mentioned a few names. We have to change, we have to change working, what is it called almost doing better. I wasn’t one of the grand openings on the pools there, they opened seven amazing pools in, those are the stuff that is an investment for the community. I get that. But the way happened over the weekend, we will celebrate, you know, July 4 in the city. And on Monday, and somebody started yelling, you know, whatever, they’ve already started running, thinking that there was a shooter it within themselves and people got hurt. I have a friend of mine, that literally foreign people went over them. Those are the stuff that we had to be careful. Was there a praying game that their kids were doing? I don’t know. But how vicious you had to be on your mind to create something with this, like, I don’t know how many 300,000 400,000 people down, you know, those are worrisome moments that we have to pay attention. Nothing happened, thank God, but had the potential the future is going to be if we get those kids that I believe who were kids, they were doing this. If we get those kids in different thinking, different mindset, and creating something for them that they can build their future, we can distract them into doing things that they shouldn’t be doing. You know, what are we need to do? Do we need to get more law enforcement involved? You know, the police, I mean, granted, I have a great relationship with them. And those are the stuff that we need to create bridges between within our institutions in the city. Few years back, because you knew the mayor was not getting along with the chief. So he had to search for new chief, we have a great chief right now that he’s looking to create something better than what he got from the beginning. So I’m sorry, what was your the question?

Tim Fulton  27:19

Oh, I mean, you sort of went over it. Like, what are we doing well, and what are we not doing so well? So

Luis Gil  27:24

you know, Columbus, Ah, nice, a little, a little, a little different lights so people can see. I want to bring the light so people can see you know, it can be better than what we have right now.

Tim Fulton  27:36

It’s got it. So we still Thank you.

Luis Gil  27:39

Thank you very much. And I appreciate the moment here in in all I want to ask the voters to give you an opportunity. Another one I will use that famous phrase you have nothing to lose, you know.

Tim Fulton  27:50

All right. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you for listening to Confluence cast presented by Columbus underground. Again, you can get more information on what we’ve discussed today in the show notes for this episode at the confluence cast.com Please rate subscribe, share this episode of The confluence cast with your friends, family, contacts, enemies, your favorite volunteer. If you’re interested in sponsoring the confluence cast get in touch with us. We can be reached by email at info at the confluence cast.com Our theme music was composed by Benji Robinson. Our producer is Philip Cogley. I’m your host, Tim Fulton. Have a great week.