About Priscilla R. Tyson
A dedicated leader and lifelong resident of Columbus, Priscilla R. Tyson joined Columbus City Council in January of 2007. On City Council, she has worked for job creation, economic development, safety, and a high quality of life for the residents of Columbus.In her current role as chair of the Finance Committee, President Pro Tem Tyson led the effort to pass the city’s largest ever General Fund and Capital Improvements Budgets. As Chair of the Finance, Health and Human Services and Workforce Development Committees, her work addresses many of our community’s highest priorities, including access to healthcare and job training.
President Pro Tem Tyson’s proudest achievements include investing in programs designed to create pathways out of poverty; increasing access to food and employment opportunities; sponsoring homelessness prevention programs; funding $1.7 million in home repairs in the Driving Park neighborhood through the James Johnson Driving Park Home Repair Program; creating the first city funding for community gardening and the Columbus Arts Commission; increasing funding to recruit more small and minority businesses for nuisance abatement contracts; and updating the Columbus Civil Rights Code to protect people on the basis of age, disability, sex, gender identity or expression, familial status, and military status. In 2016 Councilmember Tyson partnered with Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady to pass one of the first joint City-County Food Plans in the nation aimed at reducing food insecurity. Council Member Tyson in an effort to improve the overall health of Columbus residents – successfully passed T21 legislation which raised the legal age of selling tobacco & tobacco products from 18 to 21.
President Pro Tem Tyson is an advocate for our community at the federal and state levels. She is a National League of Cities’ (NLC) Board member, a member of the Finance Committee for the NLC, the Immediate Past President of the NLC’s National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, and a member of the Board for the Ohio Municipal League. In these roles, President Pro Tem Tyson and her colleagues champion the interests of cities and towns before elected and administrative officials.
After a distinguished career in banking and healthcare, President Pro Tem Tyson founded City Year Columbus and led the organization for thirteen years as it provided thousands of hours of volunteer service to students and teachers in our public schools.
President Pro Tem Tyson serves on the board of the Greater Columbus Arts Council. She also serves on the City Council’s Small Business Roundtable. Previously, she served on the advisory committee of Partners Achieving Community Transformation. She has also served as the Services to Youth chair of The Links, Inc. and as a member of the Columbus Education Commission. Councilmember Tyson has been honored with the YWCA Women of Achievement Award, the Ohio Hispanic Coalition’s Padrino Award,the Columbus Education Association’s Martin Luther King Humanitarian of the Year Award, the Amethyst 2013 Purple Heart Award, the 2014 Making a Difference Community Service Award, and the Progressive Leadership Academy Outstanding Public Service Award, the 2016 Aspire Award recipient from the Godman Guild, the aSickle Cell Service Award from the Faith Thomas Foundation, recognized by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Berean Leadership Award as well as numerous other recognitions.
President Pro Tem Tyson grew up in the Shepard community in Northeast Columbus, graduated from the former Eastmoor High School, and earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Franklin University. She and her husband reside in Eastmoor and are the proud parents of five grown children.
Operating Budget Priorities: As Finance Chair President Pro Tem Tyson sponsored the 2016 Operating Budget appropriating $835,291,000 in the city’s budget, which then was the largest at the time. Under her leadership the 2016 Budget deposited $2.2 million into the city’s Rainy Day Fund keeping the City of Columbus on track to reach its commitment to have $75 million in the fund by the end of2018. The current Rainy Day Fund has a balance of more than $70 million. The 2016 budget also streamlined the operation of City government, putting the city on track to save taxpayers nearly $260 million. Under Tyson’s guidance, as Chair of the Finance Committee, the city has saved money, reformed city government, become more efficient – while keeping its promises from 2009 and maintaining a AAA Bond rating – which is one of the best ratings held by any major city in the United States. President Pro Tem Tyson also recently passed the $872,713,000 Operating Budget for 2017 – which is now the largest budget that has been proposed in the city’s history.