I’ve been interested in politics for several years now, reading about it, talking about it (to friends and family), donating some money, and voting. But, I’d never found a candidate who excited me enough to do more. That is until I learned about Liliana Rivera Baiman’s run for Columbus City Council — then that all changed.
She’s the candidate who finally made it seem worthwhile to get off my ass and do something more.
Trust me, there aren’t many people who, for several months, I’d dedicated at least one day each weekend to spread the word about, but Lili is that person.
So, what makes Liliana Rivera Baiman such a great—and groundbreaking—candidate? Well, I could go on about this for a while (as my friends, family, colleagues, and, honestly, anyone I talk to in the city would all tell you).
She is a candidate that actually cares about working-class people in our city. And, she has the experience (and endorsements) to prove it. As a former union organizer, she knows how crucial it is that workers have the power in a workplace. Recently, several city-funded projects have had upper-level union busting going on, and our current city council doesn’t seem to care whether employers are respecting their employees.
I don’t know about you (though, I can make some guesses if you’ve made it this far), but I don’t want corporations and employers setting the terms and conditions for workers. They’ll always choose what’s best for their bottom line. I want a council member with union experience to put our needs first. That’s all part of her platform focused on the fact that everyone should only have to work one job to lead a comfortable and dignified life. Don’t take my word for it, though. Lili has laid it out clearly.
As a member of Columbus DSA’s housing committee, tenants’ rights and affordable housing are crucial platform requirements to garner my support. Lili is exactly where she needs to be here. She wants to prioritize working people and families over developers. And, come on, do we really need more luxury apartments and condos in the Short North? (The answer to that is a resounding no.) She wants to focus on making sure everyone has access to safe, affordable housing and the tenant power to stop landlords from taking advantage of renters. I have no doubt that getting her on the city council would be a great first step to enacting local policies that benefit Columbus tenants. She’s not taking developer money, so she’s not beholden to them once she gets elected. This is a great first step toward transformational change.
And, with my background in education, it’s necessary to me that a candidate is committed to improving the funding of our public schools—and Lili is that candidate. I know I’d much rather have a corporation’s taxes used to fund education instead of giving these super-rich corporate bosses a financial break through decades-long tax abatements. These luxury developers displace long-time residents—and get rewarded for it. This is unacceptable. By electing Lili, we can take steps toward stopping this racist and classist gentrification in our city and put this money toward the people who really need it: Columbus kids. Our current city council members would rather give millionaires a bigger paycheck and screw over public-school students (and get their big-money donations as a result) than support our teachers, communities, and children.
When I mark the box by Lili’s name on the ballot this November, I’ll be thinking about all the ways she’s going to help those in the city who actually need it. That’s why I’m happy to call Lili a comrade, that’s why I’m happy to spend my weekends working to get her elected, and that’s why I’m proudly casting my vote for Liliana Rivera Baiman for Columbus City Council.
This is why I’m voting for Lili.
Election Day is November 5. Early voting has already started.
So, get out there and vote for candidates who care about the working class.