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.
Councilmember 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 tax incentive policies that resulted in
recommended policy changes to help ensure Columbus’ toolbox of incentives
provides the greatest possible benefit to residents. Brown successfully pushed
to include a $15-per-hour wage floor for the city’s jobs incentives as a part
of these recommended 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 facing 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. Brown is on the board of The Center for Balanced Living, a
mental health treatment center that specializes in eating disorders. Katzenmeyer
owns two local restaurants and serves as the treasurer to the board of Wild
Goose Creative, an arts organization. They live in Columbus’ Victorian Village
neighborhood, along with their daughter Carolyn.
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.