Suburban News Publication
Samuel's life journey led her to Columbus
City Council bid
By JENNIFER WRAY
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2007 1:49 PM
She grew up on the other side of the world,
but politics and civic involvement come close to home for Heidi
a Republican, will take on incumbent Democrat Priscilla Tyson
in a head-to-head contest for a seat on Columbus City Council
in the Nov. 6 general election.
That election also will
include an eight-member contest for four additional seats on
council. In that case, the top four vote-getters each will
receive a four-year term.
and a mother of two, was born in Massachusetts. But she spent
a third of her childhood in Asia, thanks to the work of her
father, a colonel in the U.S. Air Force.
settling down in Columbus, Samuel worked and attended high
school in Kobe, Japan, and also worked for a year in Beijing,
China at an international school as a teacher's assistant and
The next year, she came to Ohio State University,
where her father had been hired as a professor in aerospace
science, to pursue her college degree.
"I majored in history, and I've been here ever since," said Samuel.
a place that was so strong and so appealing, we chose to stay here," she
said. "It's a great town
to live and work and raise a family."
Throughout the community,
she's found "very friendly people
that are very warm and open" and interested in one another,
After graduating from college, Samuel worked in
the office of former Gov. George Voinovich and as an assistant
to the chief of staff of the Ohio Department of Transportation,
where she led the initial working group that designed the Interstate
670 cap linking Downtown and the Short North.
Samuel also operated
a event-planning and coordination business serving the health
care information industry, and held an Ohio insurance license
operating an independent, multi-line insurance agency.
Now her community efforts have become her full-time
work, said Samuel.
After graduating college, Samuel and her husband Jim
briefly lived on the Northwest Side before a five-year stay
in Bexley. They then moved to Columbus' East Side, attracted
by the low cost of homes in the area.
It was in that house that Samuel
found the origins in her own political involvement.
"Five years ago, my basement flooded -- we had a stormwater backup," she
Samuel said on investigation, she found that the plans
for improvements in the area were insufficient to resolve neighborhood
She worked with the project engineer to expand
the scope of the soon-to-be-complete Bliss Run Watershed project
to bring real resolution to the problem flooding. In doing
so, she got involved in the Eastmoor Civic Association and
Blockwatch, eventually becoming the organization's president.
heads up the organization's economic development committee,
and counts among her successes in the group helping to close
a local motel that had been plagued with problems surrounding
drugs and prostitution, helping bring closure actions against
a strip club in the area and helping create an economic development
overlay along Broad and Main streets on the East Side.
Had her basement not flooded, she might not have found
her calling as a community leader -- a calling that is full
time, but unpaid, said Samuel.
"Life takes you on a funny course," she said.
If elected to council, Samuel would focus on attracting and
retaining residents in the city, and as a part of that, combat
crime and deal with the issues of a city with an aging core
and an expanding reach, she said.
"My concern is in making sure that Columbus remains a viable option for
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