Take the high road

Policy Matters Ohio - March 1, 2012

What’s missing? Ohio has tremendous strengths. We have world-class universities, a skilled workforce, and a rich manufacturing heritage – many of the ingredients we need to jump-start our economy. What we lack is a set of policies designed to invest in emerging sectors and put Ohioans back to work. Far too often, Ohio has tried to take the low road to economic development, believing that cutting taxes and slashing wages would revive state economic growth. These policies have not produced the promised job growth but have drained public coffers and led to cuts in public education and safety net services.

Ohio can change course. To show how we can get back on the high road, we’ve put together this series of reports as a “toolkit” to help Ohio policymakers, community leaders and neighbors identify, develop and advocate for policies that encourage high-road development. Our approach embodies the three E’s of sustainability: environment, economy and equity.

One report details options that can help communities engage in sustainable development, maximizing the value of green investments. Another documents best practices from cities around the country as a menu of local policy options for a comprehensive sustainability strategy in your community. Three other key tools in the kit help you use census data and explain community benefit agreements, an excellent vehicle for ensuring that – well, that communities actually benefit from development projects. We also include links to studies and resources by our partners at Good Jobs First, Jobs with Justice, the Oberlin Project and Emerald Cities.

We’re grateful to the Oberlin Project and the Pepsi Refresh Everything Challenge for funding to complete this work.

Thanks from Amy Hanauer and the Policy Matters team.

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