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Meet Zander Perrigan, running for Mansfield City Charter Commission

Zander Perrigan is an Ohio State University student representing the next wave of driven youth who carry the hopeful and transformative ideas that we need to reshape the world.

In a world often shaped by experienced figures, Zander stands out as a young voice seeking to make a difference. At just 20 years old, he’s aiming to become one of Ohio’s youngest elected officials, injecting a burst of new energy into the state’s political scene.

Zander’s journey into politics began with personal stories from his grandmother. Her tales of volunteering during JFK and RFK’s campaigns left a mark on him, igniting his passion for political change. This passion led him to lead the Ohio Young Democrats chapter, an experience that solidified his commitment to creating real, meaningful transformations.

But Zander’s ambitions don’t stop at leadership within an organization. His candidacy for the Mansfield City Charter Review showcases his determination to play a role in shaping his community’s future. We did some research and found this: A charter review is like giving a rulebook for a team to check on. They look at the rules to make sure they still make sense and work well. If needed, they might change or update some of the rules to make the rules better and more fair for everyone. It’s a way to keep things up-to-date and working smoothly. Zander wants to be part of the team that updates and refines this rulebook, ensuring that local government is effective and in tune with today’s needs.

Zander’s focus isn’t just on grand ideas; he’s paying attention to real problems affecting people’s lives. One big issue for him is the lack of affordable housing. Shocked by the fact that 44% of people in Richland County spend more than 30% of their income on housing, he’s pushing for solutions to make housing more accessible for everyone. This shows his dedication to leveling the playing field for his community.

Beyond housing, Zander has his sights set on improving the relationship between the community and the police. He also wants to see better oversight in departments like safety and public works. Zander explained to us that the Charter would have the jurisdiction to make sure that these departments always have two directors leading so. This would protect directors from work overload and ensure that communities are not missing out on essential services.  He’s also eager to tackle the problem of abandoned buildings, suggesting ways to speed up their demolition and pave the way for renewal.

Zander’s vision also extends to making the voting process more inclusive. He’s exploring innovative ideas like ranked-choice voting and grouping candidates without party labels, all aimed at getting more people involved in the democratic process. His goal is to create a system that represents everyone and encourages even those who are skeptical of politics to have a say.

Education is a key part of Zander’s journey. Working towards a history degree, he plans to combine his education with legal knowledge to drive change as a future lawyer. He’s particularly interested in the Department of Justice’s civil rights division, where he sees an opportunity to make a difference through the law.

Outside of his political and academic pursuits, Zander finds relaxation on the golf course and playing with his three dogs: Baker, Jasper, and Ace. These furry friends offer a much-needed break from the intensity of politics.

As Zander’s campaign for the Mansfield City Charter Review gains momentum, it’s clear that his blend of youthful enthusiasm, grounded determination, and modern awareness sets him apart. His desire to make change stems from a fusion of historical inspiration and forward-looking energy, positioning him as a potential influencer in Mansfield’s journey forward.

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