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“Columbus is a vibrant and growing city with a tremendous future ahead, but we have real work to do to break down the barriers of poverty and build up working- and middle-class families. On Columbus City Council, my aim is to use my experience in job creation and nonprofit service to fight for broad-based economic prosperity that works for every neighborhood, every small business, and every resident in our great community.”

Elizabeth Brown was elected in November of 2015 to Columbus City Council. In addition to serving on Council, Brown is the part-time executive director of the Ohio Women’s Public Policy Network and has prior experience in economic development, nonprofit service, and state government. Brown served as an economic development manager to the City of Columbus, worked with middle school students to improve literacy as a City Year Americorps member, and has been published in New York Magazine and National Public Radio affiliate WOSU.

Brown’s focus on Columbus City Council is to fight for broad-based economic prosperity that addresses both business growth and poverty reduction. In her first year on council, Brown commissioned a comprehensive study of the city’s use of tax incentives, which resulted in an overhaul of city policies and an historic new benefit to affordable housing. Brown successfully pushed to include a $15-per-hour wage floor for the city’s jobs incentives as a part of the changes.

Other initiatives reflect Brown’s focus on broadening access to opportunity and strengthening women and families. In response to a spike in vandalism and police calls to reproductive health clinics, she passed a law to prevent harassment of workers and patients. Brown led the implementation of a paid family leave policy for city employees – the first of its kind in the Midwest and the third nationally. Brown introduced and passed an ordinance to promote the hiring of disadvantaged workers by companies who bid on city construction projects. In the face of aggressive and indiscriminant deportation tactics targeting Columbus residents, Brown established the Columbus Families Together Fund to provide resources and legal services to help keep immigrant and refugee parents in Columbus with their children.

Brown and her husband Patrick Katzenmeyer are active members of the community. Katzenmeyer owns two local restaurants and serves on the board of Wild Goose Creative, an arts organization. They live in Columbus’s Victorian Village neighborhood, along with their two children Carolyn and Russell. 

Originally born in the Berwick neighborhood of Columbus, Brown was raised in Granville, Ohio, and is a proud public school graduate. Brown is a magna cum laude graduate of Columbia University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in English.