From Fremont to Washington D.C., Great Lakes Community Action Partnership (GLCAP)’s President/Chief Executive Officer Ruthann House was recently invited by the White House to attend an event commemorating the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act. The event, which took place on September 13 on the White House Lawn, was attended by committee chairs, legislators, activists, and advocators like House, whose organizations serve those most impacted by this legislation.
Passed by the 117th United States Congress in August, the Inflation Reduction Act is a bill intended to build a clean energy economy, reduce harmful pollution, and reduce prescription drugs, health care, and energy costs, per a White House Statement. House received a “save the date” for the event from the White House Social Office in August and a formalized invitation in early September. For House, the event was made special by the speakers and those in attendance, whom House said were there because of their “commitment to helping those we serve.”
“Just being there in person and hearing Senator Schumer and Representative Pelosi and the Vice President and the President, I wanted to pinch myself,” House said. “It was such a beautiful setting for all these hopes we have for overcoming division.”
Following remarks from the Senate Majority Leader and Speaker of the House, Vice President Kamala Harris concluded her address with an introduction to the event’s special guest, a young Bostonian named Lovette Jacobs whose story, passion, and words House felt especially moved by.
“There was a young woman who spoke at the event who is a fifth-year electrical apprentice in Boston, and it was incredible to hear her speak about how [this act] was going to impact her and help her—a young woman in a male-dominated field—rise to the level of an electrician,” House said.
President Biden thanked Jacobs (31:02) in his opening remarks saying, “this law is for you and for the millions of people like you: good, decent, hard-working Americans.”
In both the short- and long-term, House envisions this act providing some relief for seniors and working families that GLCAP serves. Many of GLCAP’s programs have been structured to assist customers with the issues addressed by this Inflation Reduction Act. House pointed to GLCAP’s workforce development, environmental, and environmental justice programs as programs currently targeting those issues.
Looking forward, House expressed an interest in this bill’s full potential and effects on Ohioans. She spoke about Ohio’s Community Action Agencies’ proven abilities to respond to the unique needs of the communities they serve and the need for agencies to prepare for the bill in action.
“Community Action needs to be poised and ready for those [Inflation Reduction Act-related] opportunities to see how we might respond and address local needs,” House said.
Great Lakes Community Action Partnership has been serving the northwest Ohio area for more than 50 years. GLCAP operates childhood education services, community & rural development, financial wellness & workforce development, home repair needs, housing assistance, international programs, senior services, transportation, and utility payment assistance. For more information on programs and services, visit their website.