Who We Are

Policy Matters, a non-profit policy research institute, creates a more vibrant, equitable, sustainable and inclusive Ohio through research, strategic communications, coalition building and policy advocacy.


Our work falls into four major and related buckets:

Quality public structures: adequate and fair taxes to support the schools, neighborhoods 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 and save, 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.

We create an economy that works … for everyone

Policy victories

The work of Policy Matters Ohio has contributed substantially to innovative policy changes that improve 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.

Award-winning, hard-hitting

Policy Matters has received awards from 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 is proud to get generous grants from 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, Greater Cleveland Community Shares, and individuals like you.

If you would like to have a Policy Matters Ohio staffer speak at your event, please fill out our speaker request form.

Check out our 18-second video about who we are. (April 2014)

Updated May 2014