NORWOOD – A Wilmington High School graduate is hoping to make an impact in her community in a public office.
Emily Franzen (nee Linkous) — WHS Class of 2006 — filed to run for an at-large positions for Norwood City Council.
Franzen and her husband, Justin, have lived in Norwood, where she works as a research associate for Xavier University, since 2015.
Norwood is the second-largest city in Hamilton County — behind only Cincinnati — with just under 20,000 residents.
Franzen’s motivation to run for public office had been building since 2016.
“I started paying a lot more attention to politics after that, although I had before. A part of that was I started to watch the Norwood City Council meetings that are streamed live,” she said. “I realized I had a lot of interest, the ability, and the time to potentially run for a position like that. I felt that I could do a lot of good at a local level in a way that I couldn’t necessarily on the federal or state level.”
Before this her closest experience to public office was being a part of the graduate student congress while at Ohio State University representing the etymology department.
So far Franzen has received a positive response from Norwood residents; she said some had even approached her about running before she announced her candidacy.
“I’ve been able to meet a lot more people that I don’t know and just talk to them about what I thought was important,” she said.
Franzen’s father, Clinton County Engineer Jeff Linkous, gave her some advice when she decided to run for public office.
“He was very supportive; he cautioned me about the issues, he told me not to take things too personally. People are going to be angry about things that are out of your control, some of which are. It’s not always going to be easy and the campaigning is going to be tough,” she said.
Currently she faces no competition in the at-large race as she and candidate Susan Hoover were the only ones to file for the three at-large spots open. But Franzen said there’s always the possibility of independent candidates.
“It has happened multiple times in previous elections and there’s actually an independent councilperson who hasn’t decided whether or not they’re running for reelection,” said Franzen.
Another motivation for her to run is to bring a form of representation to the council — she said that currently the council is comprised of all men.
Her platform right now is focused on improving the city’s infrastructure and affordable housing.
She thinks that if anyone is frustrated with politics, they should try getting involved with politics at the local level.
“You can make a change in a very vivid way. And a much easier way than trying to pass legislature on the state level,” she said.