Meet Joe, The People's Mayor.
Critical to my desire and knowledge to serve this city is to understand my background and experience. I am a lifelong resident of Columbus and was born the 7th of 11 children and grew up in Clintonville. At best, we were a family of modest means. My father was raised in a two-room house in a small coal mining town in eastern Ohio. He spent his teen years in foster homes and at the St. Vincent DePaul Orphanage in Columbus. After serving in WWII he worked as a Local 200 union carpenter and later as a construction general superintendent. My mother was of course a stay-at-home parent and the daughter of George and Elsie Eagle who were the founders of Columbus’ Eagles Candies.
I am a graduate of Bishop Watterson High School and attended Youngstown State University where I played college basketball. In my mid-late 20’s I aspired to become a professional jazz pianist but had to settle for being a decent piano player. Married for 37 years, I raised my two children while working in the commercial construction industry as a union Laborer of Local 423 for 24 years. During the last 14 years of my 40-year construction career, I worked as a construction safety professional before retiring.
For the past 38 years, I have been involved with almost all city of Columbus government departments, and I served on numerous city-sanctioned commissions and groups since 1985. I could fill this page with those interactions and scores of political campaigns having run for City Council and as a Democratic-endorsed candidate for State Representative since 1995, along with my direct involvement in citizen driven ballot initiatives on voting rights, tax levies, and development projects that negatively impacted the environment. I have been advocating for our unsheltered, against structural racism, for police reform/community policing, historic preservation, creating truly affordable housing, parkland protection and improvements, and strengthening public education through my long-standing fight against the city’s tax abatement policy.
I speak of my political background, but also what my early life’s experiences taught me about society and contributed to my vision of benefiting and improving the lives, families, and neighborhoods for all of Columbus. It is no secret that my decades of advocacy align with everyday people and grassroots organizations. I have built responsible and respectful relationships all over Columbus with people and professionals who work to improve our livelihoods.
As Mayor, my life experience and years of fighting for justice and a quality of life that all people in this great city deserve, will lead to real solutions to our affordable housing crisis and safe neighborhoods, greater democracy, economic success for all, and end the unethical and corrupt “pay to play” system of government that plagues City Hall. I will improve our neighborhoods crumbling infrastructure, ensure individuals, small businesses and neighborhoods economic prosperity, and modernize our mobility and transit to 21st century standards.
As most people know, I am candid, outspoken, and independent. I listen to reason and hear the concerns of all parties. But my number one priority is the people. And notably, I have demonstrated that I am not beholden to developers, corporate Columbus, lobbyists, and those of political influence.
"To address crime prevention and violence directly, I believe that Columbus must focus first on the underlying problems. Decent affordable housing, public education, systemic racism, jobs that pay a living wage, child and mental health care, 21st century transit and mobility, and reinvestment in our neighborhoods' crumbling infrastructure."
No more tax abatements in risk-free development areas
During the last eight years, Joe has been Columbus’ number one outspoken, knowledgeable, and non-partisan critic of Andy Ginther’s practices of handing out tax abatements to special interests. Joe testified publicly in City Council chambers almost 40 times debating against corporate welfare giveaways in risk-free development areas such as the Short North, Downtown, Easton, Polaris, and the Rickenbacker Logistics Center. The recipients are luxury real estate developers, Fortune 500 companies, and Columbus longtime established corporations who are all major contributors to the mayor.
These public tax abatement private interest beneficiaries have complete control over our cities development policies. At the same time, the sucking sound of our tax dollars can be heard, that protect and advance their investments. These tax giveaways drastically diminish Columbus City Schools revenue that supports our teachers, supporting staff and children’s education.
All responsible research shows that tax abatements are counterproductive to the public interests. For example, they increase the property values of those on fixed incomes and for seniors who have lived in their homes for generations and raise rents in neighborhoods making them unaffordable for the working middle class and to low-income citizens. Tax abatements are nothing more than fat pork chops for luxury real estate developers and corporate Columbus. It is time for a new leader – Joe Motil, with the political courage and willpower to make these luxury developers and corporations pay their fair share of taxes.
As a working-class blue collar Democrat and senior management worker, I fully understand the struggles to raise a family as well as the need for big and small businesses to prosper. Everyone deserves to earn a living wage, health care benefits, and a retirement savings plan. We must provide adequate funding for a public educational system that gives our children the chances that they deserve to succeed and prosper in life.
I will advance policies that provide truly affordable housing, keep rents reasonable, give tenants legal representation and rights, and construct transitional housing for our unsheltered and disadvantaged.
I will assure the public that I will hold our Columbus Division of Police accountable for mistreatment of citizens and any violation of their sworn duties as members of the CPD. I will provide law enforcement with the necessary tools to protect and serve our residents and keep our neighborhoods safe. Expand our community-policing efforts that will help to better utilize our policers time in the field.
I will use my 38 years of commercial construction experience to promote opportunities for well-paying jobs to those who seek hard skill careers in the construction industry and other trades. I will invest in our neighborhood commercial businesses to increase opportunities for small business and minority business owners through the awarding of city contracts.
Columbus can be a strong and more prosperous city. But far too many people are left behind while City Leaders’ chosen ones are showered with the way to greater wealth. The influence of developers, corporations, and special interests who controls City Hall must end. Columbus cannot continue to hold onto the rank of the second most economically segregated city in America.