Akron City Council, At-large
Northeast Ohio, Local
Linda Omobien has served as a member of Akron city council since 2010. Linda is the first woman to be elected as a member at-large of Akron city council. Prior to her service on city council she served on the Akron board of education for 16 years. Linda remains committed to policies that are a catalyst for economic development and create laws to reduce the burden on families around quality childcare, healthcare, and safety.
In 2020 Linda will continue her work as an Akron City Council Member, At-large.
The responsibilities of city council members include:
- Establish policies for effective delivery of municipal services like trash collection, water, and snow removal services.
- Adopt annual city budgets and legislation to address key issues in their community.
- Approve the use and sale of city owned property.
Meet the Candidate
Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
During a friend’s campaign, I worked on outreach and GOTV. I found the entire experience exciting and exhilarating, even though my friend lost. That experience led me to consider running for an elected office. I ran in the local school board race about a year after working on my friend’s campaign. My siblings and I attended public schools in Mississippi, so I thought it was a good introduction to public service. It proved to be that and much more. I gained my voice, leadership skills, negotiation skills, working across artificial lines to accomplish goals for the whole.
Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
My mother and sisters have inspired me to become a leader. Ever since I can remember, my mother volunteered and worked with very little education, resources, and time. However, she always found time to visit the sick veterans, neighbors, and fellow church members. My oldest sister changed the trajectory of our lives when she went to college following high school. One of her teachers saw something in her and encouraged her to apply to college. It became the norm for us to apply and attend college. All seven of us went to college, 5 completed master’s degrees, and one has a doctorate. It was my 2nd oldest sister who paid for my bus ticket to come to Ohio where I found a professional job within a month. She helped me develop confidence, public speaking, and to organize and manage my affairs. She is also the sibling who earned a doctorate, became an administrator in education, and a sought-after public speaker.
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?
As a lifelong Democrat from the state of Mississippi, my experiences as an African American female from the south gave me a deep belief in education, social services, and social justice. Throughout my career and life, I focused on issues such as; behavioral and physical healthcare access, substance abuse treatment, economic justice, ending homelessness and poverty, and making government more accessible for all. I am committed to protecting all people’s rights, especially those who have faced historic discrimination and economic injustice.
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?
I envision a community of leaders where women are strong, self-assured, solidly in positions of authority, and girls, young women, boys, and men think nothing of this phenomenon. By 2028, hopefully, this scenario will be commonplace, and women will demonstrate good governance through common sense decision-making for families. By that time, we will have equal pay, healthcare, adequate education funding, childcare laws that support families, clean air & water, climate control, support for seniors to live in their homes, and utilization of greenspace in thriving neighborhoods.
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
It is so true that “all politics is local.” It is when the local issues, such as trash, roads, water, safety concerns are not addressed that citizens are affected by them. In Akron, we have a serious challenge of gun violence, and an opioid epidemic. Both are viewed as public health issues. We know that both are connected to deteriorating economic conditions that are manifested by poor education, high dropout rates, unemployment, and a lack of hope. We need to create common sense gun control laws that will remove weapons, especially AK-47s, and other military style weapons, from irresponsible people. The high levels of opioid use, and deaths, can be addressed via collaborative initiatives, and exposure to healthy, positive neighborhoods with strong family oriented recreational supports. Additionally, Akron has the highest infant mortality rate in Ohio (zip codes 44320, 44307, & 44306).
Tell us something personal about yourself.
I have been blessed to travel this beautiful country. My husband and I have explored 49 and 47 states respectively, with Alaska left for him and Alaska and the Dakotas left for me. Most were done via a road trip to California in 1990.