The Initiative

On August 2, the people of Columbus will have the opportunity to vote on a citizen-led amendment to the Columbus City Charter that would transform and modernize our City Council system.

Here are the major points of the amendment. If you’re interested in becoming an expert on the topic, you can read the full amendment.

  • Creates a modern City Council with members elected from districts and at-large. The number of at large council members is capped at 3, while the number of council members elected from districts changes as the population of Columbus grows or shrinks. Initially, there will be 10 council districts, each electing one member to City Council.
  • The council member representing your district has to live in your district. The other 9 council members representing districts each have to live in their districts, too.
  • The proposal makes sure districts are not gerrymandered. Borders will be drawn to produce compact and contiguous districts, based on recognized geographic and neighborhood boundaries.
  • Districts will be apportioned by a 9-member cross-partisan (Democrat, Republican, and Independent) committee of Columbus residents as soon as the amendment is adopted. After that, the apportionment committee will redraw districts every 10 years (after the federal census).
  • The 9-member apportionment committee will be appointed by the mayor (3 members), by City Council (3 members), and by the first six committee members (3 members). Each will appoint one member from the current majority party in council, one member from the largest current minority party in council, and one member who is independent or unaffiliated.
  • The apportionment committee will then appoint a qualified third party responsible for drawing no more than three draft district maps. The committee will approve a final district apportionment plan within thirty days of submission of the draft maps.
  • The apportionment committee will take public input into account throughout the process.
  • Council and city administration will provide all necessary resources to ensure that the apportionment committee gets the job done right.