Saturday Stats: Busy month
Posted February 20, 2021 in eNews
12: There’s only one official “Black History Month,” but we know Black history is Ohio history all 12 months of the year. We’ve been featuring just a few amazing Black Ohioans who have helped shape public policy for the better. Check out our profiles of Congressman Lou Stokes, State Senator CJ Prentiss and poet and activist Langston Hughes. We also profiled Ohio’s only public HBCU, Central State.
124,000: Roughly 124,00 children in Ohio live with relatives or trusted family friends after being removed from their parents’ homes. More than 20 years ago, Brittney Madison was one of them. In a beautiful and poignant guest blog, she shares her “kinship care” story. Now as an organizer with our partner, NOBLE, she is working with families just like hers. Together they are fighting to make sure all children, no matter what they look like or who cares for them, have the opportunity to thrive.
10.7% and 10.2% v. 8.6%: Ohio’s tax code is out of balance: It lavishes the wealthiest residents with tax cuts and tax breaks at the expense of everyone else – especially those who are paid the least. Due to years of racism and segregation, many Black and Latinx Ohioans have been prevented from building wealth and are forced into the lowest paying jobs, so they’re more likely to be among the Ohioans with the lowest incomes. Wealthier Ohioans pay a lower share of state and local taxes than people with the lowest incomes. As a result, Wendy Patton shows that the Black and Latinx Ohioans among the bottom four-fifths of earners pay 10.7% and 10.2% of their income in state and local taxes, respectively. The Ohioans in the top quintile — who are predominantly white — pay 8.6% on average.
18% v. 13%: Black Ohioans account for 18% of the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations, but are only 13% of the state’s population. Amanda Woodrum writes that historic and ongoing racism in public policies is at the root of problem. Historic redlining, perpetuated by our federal government, along with the banking and finance industries, forced many Black families into segregated, under-resourced communities. Residents in these neighborhoods are more likely to live in substandard housing with pest problems, mold and lead paint. Kids are deprived of greenspace and parks to play in and safe, walkable, bikeable streets. Public policies steered polluting factories and highways next to or through Black neighborhoods, harming health with higher levels of noise and air pollution. Policymakers can start to dismantle structural racism by using health notes — a health impact analysis tool — to make sure a policy proposal will be good for everyone’s health, no exceptions.
$250,000: Senate Bill 18 would create a major new tax break for some Ohioans who make more than $250,000 a year, while continuing the state income tax on unemployment compensation (UC) Ohioans received last year. That’s why Zach Schiller testified against the bill last week. Read his blog on the issue here.
$21 million: Kroger CEO Rodney McMullin took home $21 million in 2019. He didn’t take a pay cut during the pandemic, but he did take away $2-an-hour “hero pay” for frontline workers. “Kroger cutting hazard pay in the midst of a pandemic that has increased its profits underscores the disconnect between the value frontline workers are creating for their employers, and what they’re taking home as pay,” Michael Shields told the Columbus Free Press. “This is not about skills or economic value, it’s about power, and Kroger’s actions are a great case in point.” Just this week, Kroger made news again. The grocery store chain complained that having to pay extra hazard pay for employees in Seattle would hurt their profitability after it used $1 billion to goose their stock price with buybacks.
A panel featuring some of our closest our friends and allies will discuss justice reform efforts in Ohio, past, present and future. Register here for the event on Wednesday, February, 2–3:15 p.m.
Join us for the next Friday at 1PM for an installment of Policy Matters Live. Join a conversation with Kimberly LoVano of Greater Cleveland Food Bank, Brittney Madison of NOBLE, budget researcher Will Petrik and outreach director Daniel Ortiz on how to engage in the fight for the dignity of all Ohioans.
New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb and former Demos Executive Director Heather McGee will discuss Heather’s new book, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together. The event is hosted by The Cleveland Public Library on Saturday, February 27 at 12 p.m. Register here.
Policy Matters fan for life, Mark Cassell, has written a new book as well. It’s called Banking on the State: The Political Economy of Public Savings Banks. Join the book launch virtual celebration on February 25 at 5 p.m. Meeting ID: 898 2630 1459