Coalition representing low-income and working Ohioans unveils plans for election
A coalition of groups representing Ohio workers and low-income residents has kicked off a campaign to promote a progressive agenda in the Buckeye State.
After launching its campaign at the Ohio Statehouse, the coalition intends to take its message statewide before the November election.
All In For Ohio pulls together groups like the Ohio Organizing Collaborative and Policy Matters Ohio.
“We are here on the heels of a dispiriting legislation session because we refuse to be governed by the extreme policies and politicians more focused on fundraising than our futures. And by those who advance themselves by dividing all of us,” said Policy Matters Ohio Executive Director Hannah Halbert.
One key focus of the coalition will be to push for a fairer tax code. Guillermo Bervejillo of Policy Matters Ohio said Ohio has been giving its wealthiest citizens tax breaks that have taken needed dollars away from important community services like education and public parks.
“Since 2005, corporate backed politicians have embraced tax policies that have given the richest one percent of Ohio households with average annual incomes of about $1.5 million a year an average annual tax cut of nearly $51,000, enough to buy a new luxury car every single year,” Bervejillo said.
The coalition also represents the state's major teachers unions. Shari Obrenski, president of the Cleveland Teachers Union, said lawmakers need to start listening to teachers.
“Our students deserve better. We need to tell the legislature to stop feeding the culture wars and trust educational professionals to do the job for which they’ve been trained,” Obrenski said.
And Pastor Derrick Holmes, the Columbus Faith Organizer for the Ohio Organizing Collaborative and pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Circleville, said the coalition will take its message to voters. He says they are the ones who have the power to change things.
“The power is always with the people and because we have the power, we will change things for the better,” Holmes said.
The coalition intends to hold voter registration efforts throughout Ohio between now and the November election to engage more people and encourage them to be part of the political process.
The group could face an uphill battle pushing its message with 54% of Ohioans voting for Republican candidates based on statewide elections over the past 10 years.