Upper Arlington City Council
Carolyn has a life-long commitment to obtaining a level playing field for all women. Currently the president of Ohio National Organization for Women, her mother took Carolyn to her first Columbus NOW meeting in 1974 . A graduate of The Ohio State University, she helped organize Take Back the Night Marches, and helped seven other single mothers figure how to get funding for their degrees, was involved with a group called “Mama” which was a group of single mothers trying to get through school. In her current position as member of Upper Arlington City Council she discovered a female employee was underpaid and worked together to increase salaries to equal gender parity.
Meet the Candidate
Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
I was raised in the Upper Arlington community and raised my daughters in the community where we were able to enjoy great schools, community support, local pools, libraries to mention a few as well as many services provided by the careful planning of the leaders of the Upper Arlington Community. I reached a point in my life where I felt I needed to provide the leadership to continue to provide a great and safe place to live and raise a family. Once the stresses of raising a family and building my career were over, it seemed only right that I would work to provide this for others. One area of importance to me is the ability of those who built this community being able to age in place. We are striving to be a welcoming and great place for an entire life span.
Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
The women in my family have been and will continue to be strong women raising strong women. My mother was a single mother who raised three children in a time when that was not the usual position of a women in our community. We lived in a community that was and continues to be a predominately comprised of couples. My mother realised the advantages to growing up in Upper Arlington and her desire for us to have those benefits provided my sister and brother as well as myself with opportunities that might not have been available to us elsewhere. It was not always comfortable but we knew why we were there. My mother sold real estate. She was leader in her field and community. I watched her step up and solve problems rather than waiting for others to assume the responsibility. My mother also took me to my first Columbus NOW meeting in 1974, told me that I needed to be there and I have been involved every since.
Some of you are military veterans, some small business owners, some professionals, some mothers and grandmothers, some homemakers. How did one of these experiences shape who you are as a person and leader?
Because I have had my consciousness raised, I see many things and experiences for what they are, sexist and very patriarchal. Many women have experienced the same things but have no idea things can and should be different. My life experiences have made me a fighter for women’s rights. There can be no free men until there are free women. We are all caught in a trap. It is not good for any of us. I will continue to fight for women and their families as long as I live. Oppression is never acceptable.
The Matriots PAC has a goal to see 50% of all elected offices in Ohio held by women by 2028. What is your vision for Ohio in 2028?
2028 will be a great year! The Equal Rights Amendment will be part of the Constitution of the United States. We will have reached a point where we are guaranteed protections under the law that we are currently denied. We will have the ability to provide for ourselves and our families on equal footing with men. Women do govern differently and when we have a equal share of the leadership, we all will benefit. It will be more about what is good for us and our nation and much less about money and control. Currently we are rushing around constantly putting out fires started to control us on all levels.
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
All politics is local and local politics is something much easier to control than national politics. We can control things like safety forces, inclusion of all members of a community, affordable housing, side walks, snow removal, trash collection on the local level. These are the issue that impact our lives on a daily basis. National politics are much harder to control on a personal basis.
Two issues facing my community today have to do with development. The redevelopment of Lane Ave. Is an example. We have decided that there needs to be a plan. We need to determine the long term needs for the community not just use a the patchwork quilt approach where developers come along, throw out an idea and see if it sticks. This sort of development has brought us two hotels that do not serve the community. They don’t even have a coffee shop where one can get a a cup of coffee. The other one is the in-building of homes. Currently, We are permitting the destruction of affordable homes in the $250,00.00 range with $700,00.00 homes. This is destroying our ability to attract people who we would like to be part of our community. We are reinforcing the concept that Upper Arlington does not welcome lower income people. This needs to change. It also eliminates many seniors who need to have affordable housing. Many of us would like to live our entire lives in U.A. Apartments are not the answer, lower priced homes and some multi family units are.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
It is hard to find an unknown piece of information about me because I am an open book and very vocal. I guess one thing is that even though I ran for office once before I got the seat I did not lose. It was a wonderful experience. I met so many people and I would never have encountered, learned so much from them and even often changed my mind after our discussions. I had a wonderful time. One of the best gifts I ever gave myself was my run for office.