On the Same Team: Decision-Makers and Advocates Together for Walkable Communities

When decision-makers and advocates come together, magic happens. This session will look at the tools and resources available to help create meaningful communication between elected officials and other stakeholders and showcase examples of when it has worked well.

About the Panel

Council President Pro Tempore Elizabeth Brown, City of Columbus In addition to her local elected official role, Brown is the Executive Director of the Ohio Women’s Public Policy Network, a member of the Columbus Women’s Commission and serves on the CelebrateOne Policy Committee. She formerly worked as an economic development manager to the City of Columbus, taught middle school students as a City Year Americorps member and has been published in New York Magazine and WOSU Public Radio. President Pro Tem Brown’s core objective on Council is to fight for broad-based economic prosperity and job creation that addresses both business growth and poverty reduction.

Council Member Emily Keeler, City of Grandview Heights Keeler has a passion for bike and walk safety and improving communications and transparency. In her Council role, she serves as the liaison for the Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), Finance Committee Chair and Traffic Advisory Group member. Keeler’s full-time job at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy as Wellness and Community Builder allows her to connect people within Ohio State to the community at large, and she is a member of the Association of Staff and Faculty Women Board of Directors and the Ohio State Medicine and the Arts Board.  She has a deep passion for promoting healthy communities.

Founder John H. Gregory, National African American Male Wellness Initiative Gregory is known as “The Solutions Man” and is passionate about urban issues. Founder and CEO of the National Center for Urban Solutions and the Academy for Urban Scholars, he has a national reputation for his work as a social entrepreneur that has been recognized with the Business First Health Hero, Best Practice Model for the Department of Labor and Housing Urban Development and the Governor’s Excellence in Public Service Awards. Gregory’s success in creating opportunities for improved health and increased employment has been via forming effective partnerships with corporate and community organizations.

Executive Director Catherine Girves, Yay Bikes! Innovatively promoting safe active transportation experiences in Central Ohio, Girves has realized significant achievements heading up a non-profit organization with a mission to support people through the tools of education and advocacy. Among the creative strategies she employs to engage decision makers are professional development rides with engineers, planners and government officials. Girves serves on the Central Ohio Greenways Board and is a resourceful and energetic team leader with a record of inspiring volunteers to create and operate award winning programs as well as collaborating in service to the common good.

Manager of Government Affairs Jason Warner, Greater Ohio Policy Center Warner advocates for issues and policy positions at the Statehouse, and he brings more than 15 years of experience working in and around Ohio state government. For more than eight years, he served as a legislative aide in the Ohio House of Representatives, working on a wide array of policy matters including community revitalization, economic development, housing, education and transportation. A former staff assistant to the House Ways & Means Committee and House Finance Transportation Subcommittee, Warner also worked for more than two years addressing issues before the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review.

Council President Brian Housh, Village of Yellow Springs Housh is an avid trail user, Midwest Policy Manager for Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and a Miami Valley Regional Planning Executive Committee Member. His active-transportation lifestyle is supported by residing along the Little Miami Scenic Trail, part of the nation’s largest paved trail network. Housh is deeply engaged in economic development initiatives emphasizing strategies that enhance quality of life, create jobs and increase commerce via arts, culture and environmental sustainability; he spent 12 years in Thailand managing his corporate communications training consultancy and leading the American Chamber’s charitable efforts.