Associate, Vorys Sater Seymour and Pease
About: Anna Sanyal joined Vorys’ energy practice this year after serving as an administrative law judge at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, where she oversaw a docket of 80-plus cases involving electric, gas, power siting, transportation and telecommunications. She also served on the commission’s diversity and inclusion committee.
We cannot grow in this city without taking care of our most vulnerable residents.
Outside of work: Making the practice of law equitable and the rule of law accessible to all is a passion for Sanyal, who serves on the boards of the Asian Pacific Bar Association, Women Lawyers of Franklin County, the American Constitution Society and the Ohio State Bar Association’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. Sanyal frequently volunteers with Legal Aid Society of Columbus legal clinics in family shelters and community centers, such as the YWCA Family Center. Sanyal is a Weinland Park resident and a native of Gahanna and Kolkata, India.
What does Columbus need to thrive? Affordable housing. We cannot grow in this city without taking care of our most vulnerable residents. As we continue to gentrify neighborhoods near Downtown—my neighborhood, Weinland Park, for example—we need to ensure we are preserving affordable properties so everyone in our community can afford housing. I have seen the need firsthand as a frequent volunteer at the YWCA Family Center. Many families at this shelter live there for months on end because of the lack of access to affordable housing and also because of evictions.
Sanyal’s idea: I would like to work with Mid-Ohio Food Collective to place community refrigerators in strategic areas around the city. These are donation-based, publicly accessible fridges with food for those in need. We face a prolonged recession as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many of our residents are likely to be food insecure. Other cities, such as Houston, have enacted community fridges in grocery deserts with much success. We should emulate such a program in Columbus.