Aaron Christopher, OSU political science student and service worker

Dec. 4, 2018

My name is Aaron Christopher, and I’m a student at OSU and a service worker. I’m urging Council members to take the time to gather significant public input from the residents of Columbus before setting any campaign contribution limits.

I believe that $12,707.79 isn’t a limit — it’s a permission slip for wealthy donors to continue influencing city officials. I’m studying for my political science degree, and I’m passionate about the ins and outs of local government. Above all, I’m passionate about community-driven strategies to building a democracy that is of, by and for all of us.

The proposed $12,707.79 campaign finance limit will not do enough to level the playing field in Columbus. This yearly limit will still allow nearly $51,000 to be spent per election cycle, an amount simply unattainable for the majority of Columbus residents, many of whom work for $8.30/hr.

While campaign finance reform is essential to ensure fair representation of Columbus resident’s concerns, this proposal has been rushed through the legislative process without giving everyday citizens the opportunity to voice their opinions.

Many people came out to Tuesday’s public hearing to speak out against this proposal. And for every one of us that spoke out, there are countless more who are not able to be there — people who can’t afford to spend the bus or gas money, parents who need to stay home to care for their children, students like me who are focused on our studies.

All of these people have two things in common:

Number 1: They can’t compete with wealthy donors under a system that allows $12,707.79 campaign contributions.

Number 2: They’re counting on City Council to do the right thing.