Shortly after welcoming guests to a morning press conference to release the 2015 State of Poverty in Ohio Report, Phil Cole, executive director of OACAA, paused, looked at the crowd and said, “Poverty isn’t easy.”
There are nearly 1.8 million people in Ohio that fall below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) according to the latest report written in cooperation with Community Research Partners (CRP). And while the Community Action Network in Ohio continues to break down barriers for low-income households, as Cole stated, “It takes time to help.”
While the Kasich administration and the General Assembly have “taken solid steps” for low-income Ohioans with the creation and expansion of EITC and Medicaid, Mr. Cole’s recommendations included:
End the plan to have low-income Ohioans pay premiums for Medicaid. “Unhealthy and poor means people are less likely to hold a job,” said Cole.
Go after opiate addictions and other drug problems by treating addicts in the best ways possible and by severely punishing the dealers. Cole further stated, “The longer we delay this, the more it will cost us.”
Tackle the transportation problems that prevent people from getting and keeping jobs in our state. “The single biggest issue in Ohio between an unemployed person and a job is their ability to get to work,” Cole stated.
Lynnette Cook, executive director of CRP, then addressed the crowd noting various key points within the report. “When people think about poverty, they tend to think about those who were born in poverty, forgetting those who experience it short-term,” she said. “I want to thank OACAA for their leadership in making this report available and for continuing to advocate for low-income Ohioans.”
The 2015 State of Poverty in Ohio Report is now available to view and download on our website.
Transcript of Philip E. Cole’s Testimony
Download the 2015 State of Poverty Report