He will be joining the council for a city that just this month moved from 13th to 12th largest in the nation in population, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
Reached on June 11, Firestone—who defeated Zeb Pent on June 5 in a runoff after the two emerged from a crowded field in the May 1 election—noted that he is excited about what is ahead and also reflected on a long campaign that was extended because of the runoff.
He will be a joining a council on which there will be plenty of new faces, as Firestone will be one of four new council members sworn in—of eight total seats—along with the swearing in of a new mayor in 37-year-old mayor-elect Mattie Parker.
Firestone said he is excited to be joining the council at this unique moment.
“As a new council member, with a number of new council members along with the mayor, of course, there’s a lot of youth there, which I think is great,” Firestone said, alluding to a council whose average age will drop more than a decade when it is sworn in. “I think we’ll have fresh ideas and different life experiences that the members have had that they can bring to council—and I think that’s beneficial.”
Firestone seemed especially excited about the potential of Parker, who also won a runoff June 5. Parker will become the youngest mayor of a major U.S. city.
“I think mayor-elect Parker is going to be an exceptional leader,” he said.
Reflecting back on why his campaign was the winner out of a crowded, 10-person original field, Firestone credited the issues he paid attention to.
“Well, I really focused on quality-of-life issues. That was something and is something very important to me,” Firestone said. “The conversations I had with folks were about property taxes, about mobility and congestion issues—particularly on the far and north side of the district. ...
“Essentially, it was about exceptional city services and economic development.”
Editor's note: This story was updated to say Leonard Firestone will be one of four new council members sworn in. An earlier version mistakenly said five.