Amy's big news
After 20 amazing years starting, building and running Policy Matters Ohio, it’s time for me to make way for new leaders to take this phenomenal think tank forward.
Policy Matters is here to stay. We have excellent staff, an exceptional board, solid funding, and the best allies and partners imaginable. We’ll search nationwide and close to home for our next director. Our board chair, Jeff Rechenbach, already has a search committee in place. And who wouldn’t want the job? We’re the people’s think tank, the worker’s think tank and the planet’s think tank, in one of America’s most important swing states.
I’ve been given the chance to run the national tax justice think tank Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy and its advocacy arm, Citizens for Tax Justice, two deeply respected groups Policy Matters has long partnered with on tax analysis and advocacy. My goal is to help everyone see that climate justice, worker justice, economic justice and racial justice all depend on making the wealthiest and corporations pay their fair share, so we can fund our schools, fix our planet, address inequality and deliver a better world. Leading ITEP/CTJ gives me a chance to study and advance that goal nationwide.
I moved to Cleveland in late 1998 thinking I’d get a job, like the one I had in Milwaukee, with the economic justice think tank in town. While I found brilliant people doing terrific things, nobody was hiring for what I had in mind. Yet many labor leaders, activists, academics and community members agreed there should be an Ohio research institute focused on how the economy could work better for people who work for a living.
Together, we created Policy Matters Ohio to research and promote a more vibrant, equitable, sustainable and inclusive state. Funding from the labor movement got us through the first nine months. Then the George Gund Foundation came through with a bigger grant, enough to hire veteran reporter Zach Schiller, to provide gravitas and make sure I got the facts right.
Two decades later we’re a statewide voice for economic, racial and climate justice, with offices in Cleveland and Columbus, staffed by 14 passionate, devoted professionals. We’ve supported social movements, activists and advocates as they raised the minimum wage, restored collective bargaining, created a tax credit for working families, and established clean energy standards. We’ve lost our share of struggles, too. Policymakers have slashed taxes on the wealthy, reversed those clean energy standards, and deprived schools and communities of the funds they need to thrive. Win or lose, we’re proud of every fight.
Thank you for being part of our work. I’m around through early next year, at which point we’ll have a big party to celebrate wins, have some laughs at my expense, and gear up for the battles of the future. You’re invited, with details to come. So this is not goodbye, just a heads up that we want you to stick with us through the transition and be part of our next chapter.
In the fight forever,