Shayla D. Favor
Columbus City Council
Shalya Favor was recently appointed to Columbus City Council in January 2019. Prior to that, she served as an Assistant Columbus City Attorney for nearly eight years, most recently working on the Zone Initiative. She has first hand experience with improving housing opportunities and working with displaced families. If elected, affordable housing will be her primary focus with job security, transportation and education not far behind. Favor and her husband live on the near-east side of Columbus.
In 2020 Shayla will continue her work as a Columbus City Council Member.
The responsibilities of city council include:
- City Council is the legislative branch of the city.
- City Council carries the responsibility of adopting annual operating and capital budgets, city contracts that exceed $20,000 or $100,000, and enacting the Columbus City Codes.
- City Council establishes land use policy through its zoning powers.
Meet the Candidate
Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
when my family and I were taking our annual family vacation down south. I believe we were probably in the middle of Georgia when we happened to see a homeless man on the side of the highway. The man had a sign up asking for money and a ride to anywhere. I begged my parents to turn the car around so we could help the man out. For a little context, my parents were not to be tested. In fact, if my sister and I decided that we wanted to “express ourselves,” my parents knew how to respectfully and quickly shut us down without any hesitation. Needless to say, my parents thought I was absolutely insane and were completely unfazed by my pleas to turn our family car around in the middle of nowhere. It sounds a little crazy as I retell this story but I believe there’s a little bit of crazy inside of all of us when we finally reach that thing that sets our souls on fire. And as my life started to unfold and my purpose started to reveal itself, that experience was the moment which sparked my desire to live a life of service. It was at that moment that I recognized the importance of advocating on behalf of those who were unable to speak for themselves.
As an attorney, and now as a Council Member, my job is not only to advise and advocate on behalf of my constituents but to provide a different perspective; thus, creative solutions to difficult problems that require a keen eye and critical analysis of issues. I am proud to have played a role in the City of Columbus’ efforts to address neighborhood disparity through the abatement of nuisance properties. Eliminating blight gets to the heart of protecting our public safety and improving the quality of life of our residents. My motivation to run for office is based upon a genuine call to public service. I believe that service is a calling, not a choice. And so, I rise to the occasion, prepared to use my life experience and education to continue to push the needle forward to reduce economic, racial and gender disparity in Columbus, Ohio as a member of Columbus City Council.
Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
My mother was and will always be, my biggest cheerleader. She was the first person to tell me that my voice mattered; that my gift and purpose in life would come through my ability to communicate, lead and motivate others to action.
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?
Thinking about my journey to this moment, I understand that every failure, every loss, every setback, every twist, and turn was all a part of my refining process. It’s because of my journey that I bring a strong work ethic and resiliency to fight for what’s right every single day. My decision to apply for the open seat and now to run for Columbus City Council is based upon a genuine call to serve; to use my experiences in life – both good and bad – to advocate on behalf of those in need, not from a place of privilege, but from a place of mutual understanding. I am honored and humbled to serve as a member of Columbus City Council.
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?
My vision for 2028 reflects a City where we’re no longer referring to housing as a crisis in Columbus and no one is living on the street by choice. Job opportunities are abundant, equal pay is an issue of the past and $15 minimum wage is the standard that we’re now working to increase. Healthcare and transportation are accessible and equitable, and every single neighborhood is thriving.
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
The top two issues that we’re facing in Columbus right now are affordable housing and employment opportunities. It’s estimated that Columbus’ population will grow by one million by the year 2050. This growth cannot be at the expense or at the displacement of our current residents. Columbus is taking bold action towards addressing both issues in our community by looking for innovative and creative long-term urban planning options that will stabilize communities and encourage development through strategic economic development.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
I’m an event planner, half-chef, novice photographer and world-wide DJ (in my mind) who loves to motivate people to embrace their challenges, try new things and to live in the moment.