Cornelius McGrady for Pick. City Council

October 19, 2021
Pickerington Online’s Meet the Candidates

Cornelius McGrady III finds Pickerington to be “a very robust, warm and friendly community’, but “as a child advocate, I am dismayed by the apparent disregard to safeguard our youth and by implementing a plan to increase the number of sidewalks and safe routes for our neighborhoods.”

McGrady is running for a seat on the Pickerington City Council and if elected on November 2, will prioritize sidewalks and streetlights.

“I will request the establishment of an ad hoc committee comprised of city council, township and school board members, to collaboratively explore federal grants to address the city’s sidewalk shortcomings,” McGrady said.

McGrady also wants to enhance the relationship that the Pickerington Police Department (PPD) have with the community – an initiative he has already begun by hosting the first local event for National Night Out on August 3, 2021, at the Sycamore Creek sub-division.

Feeding the homeless at the YMCA

“National Night Out has become an annual event since first introduced in 1984,” McGrady said.  “It is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police and community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer and a caring place to live.   This event also provides an opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.”

In addition to again hosting the National Night Out in Pickerington on August 2, 2022, McGrady intends to organize other community programs throughout the year in which to incorporate the PPD and the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office.

McGrady has a long history of public service and advocacy for the more vulnerable residents of Central Ohio.

As a member of the Reynoldsburg City Council from 2012-2015, McGrady sponsored five separate domestic awareness resolutions that the council passed unanimously: Teen Safe Dating, Bullying, Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault Prevention, Missing Children and Human Trafficking.

These dancers helped raise more than $11,000.00 to provide housing for survivors of human trafficking.

McGrady believes that he is a good choice for Pickerington City Council because he is an experienced leader with a proven record of community trust and that his successful initiatives “speak volumes”

“My works clearly reflects my leadership and a genuine concern to Move Pickerington Forward with boundless energy, enthusiasm and willingness to assist those in need,” McGrady said. “With years of leadership, I will bring forth an inclusionary voice and a unique perspective of selfless service, honesty, trust and integrity.”

Who is Cornelius McGrady III?

McGrady and his five siblings were born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, where his parents had migrated during the 1930s.

“My family reflected the diversity, successes and struggles of the more than 6 million African Americans that moved north from the rural southern United States during the ‘Great Migration’ between 1916 and 1970,” McGrady said.  “Newark, New Jersey, became a melting pot for Americans because of its diverse concentrated groups and immigrants that made Newark their home.”

McGrady joined the United States Army, where he served 34 years and completed three tours of duty in Iraq. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal which “is awarded for heroic achievement, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone. The “V” on the medal is authorized for acts of valor in combat”, according to the Military

“During the last eight years of my distinguished career, I served both as a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator and an Equal Opportunity Coordinator on-call 24/7 to assist soldiers,” McGrady said.

McGrady and his wife, Constance, moved to Reynoldsburg to raise their family.  They lived there for 27 years before the couple decided to down-size and move to Pickerington in 2019.

McGrady acted as an advocate in the State of Ohio’s Anti-Human Trafficking Initiative for twelve years.  He is a member of the Ohio Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Demand Reduction Sub-Committee, a defender of Hope for Shared Hope International and a former board member of Survivor’s Ink.

“In 2014, I was a finalist for the Ohio Liberator Award and in January 2015, I was also a finalist for the Jefferson Award, both for my community awareness efforts on human trafficking,” McGrady said.

“Despite my extensive advocacy work within the Central Ohio communities, we are a very close and reserved family,” McGrady said.  “We enjoy quality time together and vacationing together as a family.  My wife volunteers at our church and through a local tutoring center.  I also volunteer at our church as needed.”

Finalist for 2018 Liberators Award.

In his spare time McGrady, prefers “spending time in my garden, manicuring my lawn or reading and researching the whys of human trafficking.”

How might you know Cornelius McGrady III?

“My passion to serve within the communities is extensive,” McGrady said. “I am the visionary founder of both the Reynoldsburg Youth Human Trafficking Coalition (RYHTC) and the Reynoldsburg Diversity Inclusion Equity Youth Council that I look to launch later this fall.”

The RYHTC is an after-school program “committed to changing a culture of acceptance and tolerance towards modern day slavery, to a culture of eradication through education intervention and risk reduction”.

From 2012 through 2019, until such time that Covid halted all public gatherings, RYHTC was instrumental in bringing forth free human trafficking and missing children awareness programs to communities in Reynoldsburg.”

Reynoldsburg DECA ,“Help us blow out Human Trafficking”.

“My desire to help educate others, and to make a difference has lead me to activism in providing Human Trafficking 101 training at the Salvation Army for the Central Ohio Rescue and Restore Coalition and throughout Central Ohio and at Army Sexual Assault Conferences at Fort Dix, New Jersey, Fort Knox, Kentucky and Fort Leavenworth, Kansas,” McGrady said.

As an Equal Opportunity Representative, he has also assisted in the facilitation of the Army’s Equal Opportunity Leaders Course throughout the United States as well as Sexual Assault Awareness training.

 Equal Opportunity Leaders course training

What do others say about Cornelius McGrady III?

Pickerington resident Patrick Gamble Sr., the pastor of First Church of God in Washington Court House, said that McGrady genuinely cares about the well-being of all people.

“He is always looking for ways to communicate to the community, and to stay connected to the real issues that the community faces,” Gamble said.  “I have known Cornelius McGrady for several years and he loves his family, he loves his country, and He loves God. Cornelius is a man of integrity and high moral character. He is a man of God and I have always seen nothing but godly behavior from him. He would be good for city council because he would add some diversity to Pickerington City Council that it desperately needs.”

Carolyn Groves has “had the pleasure of being friends with Cornelius McGrady and his wife Constance for over 22 years. In addition to being a dedicated husband and raising two outstanding adult sons, he has always been committed to public service and actively serving his church, country, and community.” 

“Cornelius is a good listener and is astute at engaging others to build consensus,” Groves said. “These skills, along with his honesty, integrity, passion for making a difference in the lives of others, and multi-faceted public service experience make Cornelius McGrady a great addition to Pickerington City Council.”

Retired Major and Pickerington resident Christopher Curley served with McGrady in the Army where they deployed together in 2007 for a one-year tour to Iraq.

Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month – Some of the 25 Reynoldsburg students who enrolled in the training.

“To be totally honest and transparent, I am a Republican with strong conservative values,” Curley said. “Cornelius McGrady is a Democrat. Putting all of that aside, I know the values and decision making of Cornelius McGrady and most importantly his fiscally responsible decision making. I trust the decisions he makes even if they don’t always coincide with my strongest beliefs. His decisions are heartfelt and sincere.”

Joan Collins met Cornelius McGrady over 10 years ago while we served in the same military unit. 

“Mac (as everyone knows him) was instrumental in the equal opportunity program we conducted to train soldiers on how to treat others as they would want to be treated,” Collins said. “You wouldn’t think people need to be taught these skills, but they do.”

They trained more than 4,500 Soldiers in three years “which may sound like an easy task but it’s far from it,” Collins said. “Setting up lodging, putting together course material and transportation are just a few areas that required attention to detail. Then, once the class started, we worked numerous hours on a daily basis to ensure the course was successful.”

Mac is not only efficient, detail-oriented, highly knowledgeable on processes, he’s reliable and he’s also extremely competent. He often successfully finished tasks well before the deadline. He is very organized, and never misses a deadline or forgets an assignment. 

Collins said McGrady has excellent communication skills (both written and verbal) which allow him to connect with and inspire all kinds of people.

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