Category: Civics

The Ohio Midterm Election

At the risk of sounding like a broken record that you’ve heard before: Voting is important. On the occasion of next week’s midterm election, David DeWitt, the editor-in-chief of the Ohio Capital Journal sat down with the Confluence Cast this week to discuss how the political landscape has changed in the last two years, the Ohio Supreme Court races and the issues that will be decided as a result of them, the Ohio governor’s race, of course, the US senate race, and why it is so important to vote.

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Housing

As the Assistant Director of Housing Strategies for the City of Columbus, Erin Prosser wakes up every day thinking about housing in the city. In today’s episode, we discuss strategies for combatting NIMBYism, the importance of non-commercial partners when we think about housing, why housing should be thought of as infrastructure, and how we can right-size our systems in order to align them to our priorities.

As a bonus this week, we have an additional conversation with entrepreneur David Hunegnaw about one possible micro solution to density: Lease the Lawn.

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Council President Shannon Hardin

As a growing city, we have growing city problems. No one knows that better than Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin. With the influx of new residents and new jobs, President Hardin discusses transit as an equity issue, the importance of continuing conversations around race and policing, why we have to do big things now, and the big changes coming to how the city council will be elected, starting next year.

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Department of Development

At a time when the city seems close to a boom in terms of economic development, it also faces challenges with that growth. This week, Columbus’s Director of Development Michael Stevens discusses the portfolio of the Department of Development, how the department works to improve the lives of Columbus residents, evaluating investments at a neighborhood level, and how tax abatements happen in the city.

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Alternative Transit

How should eScooters, ride-hailing apps, and car-share services be considered in the conversation about alternative transportation? Can we think of them as a public good when they are for-profit entities? This week, Columbus Underground reporter Brent Warren discusses the options for last-mile transit that exist in Columbus, how they came to be, and the motivations and incentives for the companies that get us from point A to point B.

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The Future of Transit

Columbus is the largest city in the country without any form of rail service. That might not be changing anytime soon but plans are coming together for an alternative by way of the LinkUS Columbus initiative: Bus Rapid Transit. In today’s episode, Josh Lapp of Transit Columbus talks about the plan, how to convince people that we need transit, and what Amtrak service in Columbus may look like.

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Upper Arlington

Communities around Central Ohio are facing rapid change. That’s apparent in Upper Arlington where Steve Schoeny serves as City Manager. In this week’s episode, we discussed the role of a city manager, his time as Development Director for the City of Columbus, addressing diversity in communities, and the new development coming to UA.

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Homeport

54,000 households in Central Ohio pay 50% of their income for housing. Homeport, along with other Columbus-based organizations, are working to fix that. This week, Homeport President and CEO Bruce Luecke discusses their work, the growing need for affordable housing in Columbus, and the contributing factors that hamper Columbus’s housing market.

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Futurist Rebecca Ryan

As we navigate change, how can we create actionable plans for the future? Futurist Rebecca Ryan has a few ideas. Based in Madison, Wisconson, her past work in Columbus led to the advent of the city’s young professional initiatives. We discussed the work of a futurist, the tangible things that can be done to improve the social fabric of communities, and if it’s important to be back in the office.

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Development in the City of Worthington

When it comes to development, the City of Worthington, like many cities with their size and limitations, has to play a balancing act on navigating varying interests. Reporter Brent Warren sat down with the city’s economic development director and assistant city manager, David McCorkle, and Worthington City Manager Matt Greeson to discuss developments coming to Worthington and how they’ve evolved.

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