I’m running for City Council, because I love Columbus. I love the people, the energy, and the creative spirit of our city. I believe all of us deserve to feel safe and spend time with the people we love. We all deserve a decent wage, great schools, transit options, affordable housing, clean water and air, quality childcare and health care.

While some of us have these opportunities, many Columbus residents feel unsafe in their own neighborhoods. Columbus is a tale of two cities. One Columbus thrives with access to good jobs and opportunities. The other Columbus has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country, and 1 out of 5 children do not have enough food to eat. Our schools and our neighborhoods are segregated by race and income.

Our democracy is broken at every level. Even locally, most decisions that directly impact our lives are made behind closed doors by a handful of wealthy developers and corporate elites who put their own interests over the needs of families and communities in Columbus. If we want to live in a city that centers the health, safety, and well-being of all residents, we need to take back our city and take back our democracy. Together, we can transform our democracy and get big money out of politics, starting right here in Columbus.

As your Councilmember, I will work to make our local legislative process more accessible, transparent and accountable. I will advocate to give neighborhoods a stronger voice at City Hall. My vision for Columbus is a city where we commit to 100% clean and renewable energy, because it will help create jobs and boost our economy. I will fight for more transportation options to better connect all of our neighborhoods to education and job opportunities.

Columbus is at a turning point. This campaign is about much more than this election. It’s about building a leader-full movement with the power to shape the direction of our city for decades. Please join me in building something different. Join me in pushing for concrete changes to improve people’s quality of life in 2017 and beyond. I look forward to working with you and with residents all across the city to create a brighter future for our neighborhoods and our city.


Show your support for this campaign by endorsing it and sharing why!

  • endorsed

    “Will is a great listener, and knows how to move our City in the right direction. Doesn’t need to be entertained by developers or gifted with OSU football tickets.”

  • endorsed

    “I support Petrik for the People because I share Will's vision for Columbus to be a city where we commit to 100% clean and renewable energy.”

  • endorsed

    “I support Will Petrik and the rest of the Yes We Can Candidates because I know they will be accountable to the people of Columbus and the community needs. For too long Columbus School board and city council has ignored the best interest of my family and I have felt no control over it. I will vote for the YWC candidates b/c it will be a change from the current tired and entrenched politicians.”

  • endorsed

    “I endorse Will Petrik for Columbus City Council because he will work for all the people in Columbus. It is past time for all neighborhoods to be heard, it is past time for all voices to be heard, it is time for a real Progressive. It is time for Will.”

  • endorsed

    “I support Will Petrik because he is passionate about making change for the city of Columbus and making our community a more equitable place for everyone. Will has solid policy proposals with tangible solutions to the problems our city faces. I highly recommend committing to vote for Will in the November general election!”

  • endorsed

    “Will has a vision for the city of Columbus where everyone is treated equal. He wants to make sure that people have access to renewable energy, fairer tax rates, increase the minimum wage, better police accountability, and better public transportation. Will Petrik is the candidate and person we need for Columbus City Council.”

  • endorsed

    “Will has a vision of Columbus that is inclusive and dynamic. He understands that the ultimate success of our community depends upon taping into the combined wisdom of everyone, especially those who don't currently have a voice at City Hall.”

  • endorsed

    “We need a representatives who are connected to the people they represent, who govern with a spirit of service, and who know how to delegate. I think that's Will.”

  • endorsed

    “I want Columbus to be a city for everyone in which to to thrive!”

  • endorsed

    “I support Will Petrik because he is a Progressive fighter for the marginalized, forgotten, and overlooked citizens of our Columbus community. Mr. Petrik will stand strong against the current go-along to get-along, status quo steeped, elected city leaders and he will work to elevate everyone rather than the privileged few.”

November 9, 2017

A reflection on our movement

Dear supporter,

Thank you so much for your ongoing support. I just shared a reflection to my Facebook page, and I wanted to share it with you, too.

__________________________________

Yes We Can Columbus was founded in December 2015. In March of 2016, we won seven seats on the Franklin County Democratic Central Committee. On that Election Day, we had over 60 people help out at the polls. We won by building a base of new, progressive leaders around a shared vision for a more inclusive community, economy, and democracy. While the political establishment dumped money into attacking Yes We Can and our candidates, we won through grassroots organizing in our neighborhoods.

In January of 2017, we recruited and supported Jasmine Ayres and myself for Columbus City Council and Erin Upchurch, Amy Harkins, and Abby Vaile for the Columbus Board of Education. We helped elevate the conversation around income inequality, tax giveaways to wealthy developers, violence in our communities, and the challenges facing our schools. All five of us made it through the primary election in May, totally transforming the local political landscape. We had over 100 volunteers help out on Election Day.

This Tuesday, we had over 200 people volunteer at polling locations across the city. We had a strong showing, but we came up short of winning. While we didn’t win, I feel like there were a ton of victories along the way.

We built a mostly all-volunteer network and mobilized tens of thousands of people. One supporter said, “I've never volunteered to enter data, circulate flyers, or helped get names on a ballot before this year. I was lucky to know one name on City Council. I had never attended a City Council meeting before. I was an uninformed voter and an inactive citizen. Yes We Can changed all of that for me. I've made it a point to bring Columbus policy and politics to my daily life. Colleagues in the office, parents and daycare workers, and neighbors - we all have conversations now about weekly and monthly happenings in Columbus that we never had before. We don't assume that casting a single vote for the blue candidate delivers good governance.”

I was inspired by another story on the day of the election talking with voters at the Westgate Community Center. Nearly every voter I spoke with felt like the Westside has been ignored by City Hall. One gentleman told me his 17 year old son couldn’t vote, but that his son made sure that he voted for the Yes We Can endorsed candidates. That 17 year old is the future.

I also met Stan through this campaign. Stan is a middle-aged man who lives near our campaign office on the East Side. He said he had given up on Columbus until he found Yes We Can Columbus. He’s become one of our most active supporters. The day before the election, he stepped on a pipe that went through his foot. After that, he still walked his turf for several hours talking with residents, because he believed his participation and his voice is making a difference. I believe it, too. These are the stories that energize me for the future.

There’s so much heart, commitment and talent on our team. We all love our city, and we all know we can do better for residents. None of that is going away post-election. That's a base.

We were (and continue to be) up against some major challenges. First, we are the largest city in the nation to have no limit on campaign contributions. Unlimited campaign contributions means unlimited influence for the wealthy CEOs and developers who pay to keep the status quo. The incumbents raised over $1 million. We are also the only city among the largest 25 cities in the nation to have a City Council elected entirely at-large, which means the race is citywide rather than by district.

The opposition outspent us over 10:1. They flooded the radio, TV stations, and our mailboxes with their sample ballot. While we had over 200 volunteers out at polls across the city on Election Day, the opposition paid to have folks come in from Youngstown, Marietta and other places across Ohio. These folks had no understanding of the politics in Central Ohio, and they weren’t invested in the outcome. When it rained, they got in their cars, but our volunteers stayed out and talked with voters.

I was also disappointed by the lack of engagement by the media through this campaign. There was a clear choice in this election, but I talked with many voters at the polls on election day that had no idea that Democrats were up against Democrats. How do we expect to have an educated and engaged electorate if the media isn’t engaged?

Even with all that, Jasmine Ayres got 30,000 votes and I got a little more than 25,700 votes. Erin Upchurch lost by single digit margins. We spent this election talking to people, showing up to candidate forums, and talking about the issues that matter to us and to so many others in our community. Most all of the conversations we had with residents were positive. People want leaders who are honest about our challenges. People want leaders who stand with working families and our schools instead of developers and corporate CEOs.

While we are at the beginning of a long journey, we’ve already done so much to shift the conversation and push for real policy changes.

Last Wednesday, Mayor Ginther announced a new public safety strategy that includes a goal of having 50 percent of all police officers trained in Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) by 2020. Throughout our campaign, Jasmine and I both talked about the need for CIT and de-escalation training. Today, Mayor Ginther announced the end of the summer strike-force while boosting neighborhood foot and bike patrols. Jasmine has also consistently lifted up the need for officers on foot and bike in our neighborhoods. The People's Justice Project also played a huge leadership role in this victory as well as Black Central and Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Columbus. I also want to thank Mayor Ginther for his leadership in moving toward a new strategy. We still have a ton of work to do to change the culture of Columbus Police, but this is a step. I believe the power of our movements helped move the administration in this direction.

This election was a huge step. I’m so proud of everyone who worked so hard to help build our movement during this election. Thank you so much to all the candidates who ran and sacrificed so much, and huge thank you to all the volunteers who put in hundreds of hours. 

Congrats to all the City Council members and School Board members who were re-elected on Tuesday.

Let’s keep building power to win on the values of honest democracy, transparency, getting money out politics, and policies that help improve the lives of working families. I’m excited to have more conversations about what’s next for our movement! #YesWeCan

If you'd like to continue your financial support for the movement, please consider making a monthly contribution of $5, $10, $15 or $20 to Yes We Can Columbus: https://secure.actblue.com/con...

February 13, 2017

Campaign created!

Show your support for this campaign by endorsing it and sharing why!

  • endorsed

    “Will is a great listener, and knows how to move our City in the right direction. Doesn’t need to be entertained by developers or gifted with OSU football tickets.”

  • endorsed

  • endorsed

    “I support Petrik for the People because I share Will's vision for Columbus to be a city where we commit to 100% clean and renewable energy.”

  • endorsed

    “I support Will Petrik and the rest of the Yes We Can Candidates because I know they will be accountable to the people of Columbus and the community needs. For too long Columbus School board and city council has ignored the best interest of my family and I have felt no control over it. I will vote for the YWC candidates b/c it will be a change from the current tired and entrenched politicians.”

  • endorsed

    “I endorse Will Petrik for Columbus City Council because he will work for all the people in Columbus. It is past time for all neighborhoods to be heard, it is past time for all voices to be heard, it is time for a real Progressive. It is time for Will.”

  • endorsed

  • endorsed

    “I support Will Petrik because he is passionate about making change for the city of Columbus and making our community a more equitable place for everyone. Will has solid policy proposals with tangible solutions to the problems our city faces. I highly recommend committing to vote for Will in the November general election!”

  • endorsed

    “Will has a vision for the city of Columbus where everyone is treated equal. He wants to make sure that people have access to renewable energy, fairer tax rates, increase the minimum wage, better police accountability, and better public transportation. Will Petrik is the candidate and person we need for Columbus City Council.”

  • endorsed

    “Will has a vision of Columbus that is inclusive and dynamic. He understands that the ultimate success of our community depends upon taping into the combined wisdom of everyone, especially those who don't currently have a voice at City Hall.”

  • endorsed

    “We need a representatives who are connected to the people they represent, who govern with a spirit of service, and who know how to delegate. I think that's Will.”

  • endorsed

    “I want Columbus to be a city for everyone in which to to thrive!”

  • endorsed

    “I support Will Petrik because he is a Progressive fighter for the marginalized, forgotten, and overlooked citizens of our Columbus community. Mr. Petrik will stand strong against the current go-along to get-along, status quo steeped, elected city leaders and he will work to elevate everyone rather than the privileged few.”

  • endorsed

    “I support Will Petrik because he has a strong sense of the importance of community and aims to work with, not for, community members. He is a leader when it comes to learning from others what might be helpful to all in Columbus. He explores how to turn what he has learned into action.”

  • endorsed

    “Will is a great friend, city leader, activist, and candidate for Columbus City Council. I believe he has what it takes to make the city of Columbus a city for everybody. His leadership with fellow Yes We Can candidate, Jasmine Ayers will revolutionize Columbus for a better future.”

  • endorsed

  • endorsed

    “Will has a strong belief in bottom-up decision making and puts in the effort to meet and speak with members of his community so as to be firmly "rooted".”

  • endorsed

    “I trust Will's commitment to the long-term project of building a more just Columbus for the benefit of all people who live here.”

  • endorsed

    “I have known Will for the past five years and he is a man of integrity. I appreciate that he wants to address inequality in Columbus and around the state. We need to promote freedom - freedom from want and fear, and promote freedom to worship and speech. These are things that Petrik makes a priority.”

  • endorsed