About Council President Hardin
Columbus City Council President Shannon G. Hardin serves as the Chair of the Rules and Reference Committee which oversees the approval and placement of legislation on the agenda, Columbus City Code
changes, and appointments. Council President Hardin previously chaired the Public Service & Transportation Committee, the Small & Minority Business Development Committee, and the Neighborhoods Committee. In this position, he laid the groundwork to promote equality in Columbus by leveling barriers to transportation, creating new opportunities for small businesses, and working to eliminate opportunity gaps for young men of color.
Council President Hardin believes that investing in our transportation infrastructure helps residents access jobs, education, and healthcare. After hearing from residents, Council President Hardin and President Pro Tem Michael Stinziano collaborated to create the sidewalk repair grant program for lower-or-fixed-income residents. For many disabled or elderly residents accessing social services and employment as well as feeling apart of the neighborhood requires a maintained sidewalk system. In addition to streets and sidewalks, Council President Hardin fought for Columbus to win the Smart Cities Challenge. With the $140 million grant, the Department of Public Service and Transportation is working with partners around Columbus to improve our transportation system by implementing smart technology on our public transportation lines, increasing electric car utilization, testing autonomous vehicles at Easton, and much more. Whatever this new technology brings, Council President Hardin will continue to push for a transportation system that works for all of us.
As former Chair of the Small and Minority Business Development Committee, Council President Hardin established partnerships around Columbus to connect small businesses, particularly those owned by women and minorities, with the training and capital that they need to thrive. He collaborated with Mayor Ginther to create the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to more effectively assist minority and women-owned businesses. The Council President is a steadfast proponent of Mayor Ginther’s disparity study, which will provide the foundation to increase the City of Columbus’s small, minority, and female-owned business utilization. Understanding the racial disparities that impact communities of color every day, Council President Hardin worked with former Mayor Coleman to create Columbus’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative. My Brother’s Keeper, housed in the Department of Neighborhoods, aims to reduce the opportunity gaps for young men of color through city-wide goals, service provider coordination, and collective action.
Prior to joining Council, Council President Shannon Hardin served as the External Affairs Manager, LGBTQ liaison, and was on the Religious Advisory Commission for the Office of Mayor Michael B. Coleman. In these positions Council President Hardin provided a strong voice for the community in city government and working with Columbus City Council to ensure that the city earned a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index. In addition to creating a more queer-inclusive city, Councilmember Hardin developed programs around violence intervention (APPS), African-American wellness (AAMI), and anti-recidivism (Restoration Academy).
Council President Hardin serves on the boards of the Joint Columbus and Franklin County Housing Advisory Board as well as the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. Hardin has been recognized by Columbus Alive as a person to watch, Columbus CEO as an Up and Comer, by City Pulse as a Young Professional to Know, and by Who’s Who in Black Columbus as an Interesting Personality of 2014. He is also a member of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials. He was appointed to Council on October 7th of 2014 and won election on November 3rd of 2015. Council President Hardin earned his bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College after studying abroad in Nairobi, Kenya. Born and raised on the south side of Columbus, Council President Hardin is a proud member of the Mount Olivet Baptist Church.