Council President / Columbus, OH
Born and raised on the south side of Columbus, Council President Shannon Hardin is committed to building an equitable future that works for every resident. Council President Hardin first joined Council in 2014, and in 2018 he was elected City Council President, making him both the youngest and first openly gay leader of the city’s legislature.
Recognizing how other communities have struggled with population growth, Council President Hardin led a collaborative effort to analyze what focusing new housing and business growth along high-capacity transit corridors could mean for the region’s economy, health, and environment. This vision of transit-forward inclusive growth has gained traction in Columbus and partners are working on Columbus’ first high-capacity transit lines now. Hardin spearheaded marijuana reform in Columbus, decreasing penalties for low-level marijuana possession and supporting record sealing services to get formerly incarcerated residents back into safe housing and good-paying jobs. Understanding the racial inequities that impact communities of color every day, Council President Hardin worked with former Mayor Coleman to create Columbus’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative which aims to reduce opportunity gaps for young men of color through city-wide goals, service provider coordination, and collective action. Council President Hardin attended Morehouse College in Atlanta. He is married to Ben Zachrich and, together, they are raising their four-legged children, Teddy & Bella.