Policy Matters Ohio
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"For a more prosperous, equitable, sustainable and inclusive Ohio"
|Affiliations||EARN, Demos, Emerald Cities, Economic Policy Institute, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, State Fiscal Analysis Initiative, Community Shares of Greater Cleveland, One Ohio Now, Ohio CASH Coalition|
Policy Matters Ohio is an Ohio-based nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research institute that works to create a more vibrant, equitable, sustainable and inclusive Ohio through research, strategic communications, coalition building and policy advocacy. Founded in January 2000, its research focuses on economic issues facing low- and middle-income workers in Ohio. 
The work of Policy Matters Ohio has contributed substantially to innovative policy changes that improved the lives of Ohio families and strengthen Ohio communities. These include:
- Raising the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation, giving 330,000 poor working Ohioans a raise each year.
- Reinstating collective bargaining rights for 350,000 Ohio public sector workers, strengthening communities and giving these workers a voice in the workplace.
- Establishing an advanced energy standard, which reduces use of polluting fossil fuels, generates a market for renewables and conservation, and creates good, green jobs in Ohio.
- Getting a state Earned Income Tax Credit in Ohio, which puts a little more in the pockets of 440,000 working families with children.
- Passing an innovative layoff-aversion strategy that helps employers retain skilled workers and helps workers keep their jobs.
- Researching the benefits of Medicaid expansion, which a large coalition of business and human service advocates worked closely with the governor to achieve. Medicaid expansion brings over $2.5 billion in federal dollars to Ohio in the first two years and extends health insurance to 366,000 low-income working Ohioans.
Policy Matters is a member of Greater Cleveland Community Shares, and was honored as the "Member Organization of the Year" for 2008. Policy Matters also has been recognized by The Nation magazine, Cincinnati CityBeat, the northeast Ohio chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, the Mandel Center for Non-Profit Organizations, the Ohio Association of Non-Profit Organizations, the Ohio Federation of Teachers, and Inside Business magazine.
Policy Matters Ohio has received financial support from a number of foundations, organizations and individuals, including the Ford Foundation, the George Gund Foundation, the St. Luke’s Foundation, the Cleveland Foundation, the Sisters of Charity Foundation, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Public Welfare Foundation, the Stoneman Family Foundation, the Working Poor Families Project, Environmental Health Watch, the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, the Raymond John Wean Foundation, the EMA Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, the Doll Family Foundation, Central Ohio Community Shares, and Greater Cleveland Community Shares.
Media Coverage and Accomplishments
Policy Matters has established a strong, credible voice with Ohio policymakers and news media, appearing in every major newspaper in the state as well as television, radio, and web reports. The group's research also gets attention from media outlets outside the state, as what happens in Ohio often has implications on a national and regional level. In addition to releasing reports, Policy Matters researchers write op-eds and present findings on panels and at conferences.
The work of Policy Matters Ohios falls into four major and related areas:
- Quality public structures - adequate and fair taxes to support the schools, neighborhoods, services and infrastructure we all need;
- A fair economy - good jobs, worker rights, smart training, and opportunity for all;
- Pathways out of poverty - reasonable regulations to help families earn, save, escape poverty, build assets, avoid unfair loans, and build a better future for themselves and their children.
- Sustainable communities - investments in transit, renewable energy, conservation and other smart solutions that create jobs and support communities.
Publication issue areas include: Work & Wages, Inequality, Economic Development, Trade, Basic Needs, Credit & Debt, Unemployment Compensation, Privatization, Education & Training, Budget Policy, Tax Policy, Energy Policy, Corrections Policy, and Democracy. For a full list of reports, visit Policy Matters' Publications page.