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Working and Poor: The State of Poverty in Ohio

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Although there are signs of recovery from the recession, the latest data show too many Ohioans are living in poverty. Investments in health and human services programs can help people out of poverty, but to do so lawmakers need to make these investments a priority.

Speakers include:

* Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director, Coalition on Human Needs
* Hannah Halbert, Policy Liaison, Policy Matters Ohio
* Bill Sundermeyer, State Director, Advocates for Ohio’s Future

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Working and Poor: The State of Poverty in Ohio

  1. 1. Welcome to the Webinar For the best audio today, call in using a landline. The phone number and 3-digit Audio Pin are located under “your Audio Options”.
  2. 2. Working and Poor The State of Poverty in Ohio
  3. 3. a statewide coalition of over 475 organizations working together to promote health and human service budget and policy solutions so that all Ohioans live better lives. Advocates for Ohio’s Future is…
  4. 4. AOF’S WORK AOF believes all Ohioans should have the opportunity to participate in the economy, afford the basics, be healthy and safe AOF coalition members share the goal of eliminating poverty, the effects of poverty AOF believes that work should allow workers to lift themselves out of poverty Work with organizations and individual supporters who share our mission and goals.
  5. 5. Deborah Weinstein Executive Director Coalition on Human Needs Bill Sundermeyer State Director Advocates for Ohio’s Future Hannah Halbert Policy Liaison Policy Matters Ohio
  6. 6. www.policymattersohio.org Hannah Halbert Researcher hhalbert@policymattersohio.org 614-221-4505 Our Mission: To create a more vibrant, equitable, sustainable, inclusive Ohio
  7. 7. www.policymattersohio.org Employment recovering, slowly… Share of Ohio population, age 16+, that is working, by year Source: Policy Matters Ohio, based on U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 American Survey 1-year estimates, Table S2301 Employment Status. 60.1% 56.7% 58.7% 54.0% 55.0% 56.0% 57.0% 58.0% 59.0% 60.0% 61.0% 62.0% 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
  8. 8. www.policymattersohio.org Ohioans make educational attainment gains… Share of Ohio population, age 25+ that has completed High School, Bachelor’s degree, by year Source: Policy Matters Ohio based on U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 American Survey 1-year estimates, Tables R1502 (Percent of people 25 years and over who have completed a Bachelor’s Degree), and R1501 (Percent of people 25 years and over who have completed high school). 23.1% 26.6% 86.2% 89.4% 84.0% 85.0% 86.0% 87.0% 88.0% 89.0% 90.0% 21.0% 22.0% 23.0% 24.0% 25.0% 26.0% 27.0% 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Bachelor's High School
  9. 9. www.policymattersohio.org …but poverty remains high. Share of Ohioans in poverty, all people and the population 18 and under, by year Source: Policy Matters Ohio based on U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 American Survey 1-year estimates, Table S1701, Poverty status in the past 12 Months, Population and Under 18 years. 13.0% 13.1% 15.8% 15.8% 18.6% 18.5% 23.3% 22.9% 0.0% 5.0% 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 25.0% 30.0% 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 All people Children
  10. 10. www.policymattersohio.org Locked Out: Poverty disproportionately high among minority populations. Share of Ohioans in poverty, by race or ethnicity, 2014 African American 34.7% Latino 28.0% Non-Hispanic, white 12.2% Source: Policy Matters Ohio based on U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 American Survey 1-year estimates, Table S1701, Poverty status in the past 12 Months.
  11. 11. www.policymattersohio.org Median income stuck, below national average. Household median income, Ohio and U.S., by year. Source: Policy Matters Ohio based on U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 American Survey 1-year estimates, Table CP03 Comparative Economic Characteristics, in 2014 inflation adjusted dollars. $52,586 $53,657 $48,155 $49,308 $45,000 $46,000 $47,000 $48,000 $49,000 $50,000 $51,000 $52,000 $53,000 $54,000 $55,000 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 US Ohio
  12. 12. www.policymattersohio.org Growing share of Ohioans struggle with hunger. Share of Ohio households that were food insecure, by 2- year averages. Source: Policy Matters Ohio based on data from the USDA research report on Household Food Security in the US in 2014, September 2015, available at http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/1896841/err194.pdf. 11.4% 15.5% 16.9% 0.0% 2.0% 4.0% 6.0% 8.0% 10.0% 12.0% 14.0% 16.0% 18.0% 2002/04 2009/11 2012/14
  13. 13. www.policymattersohio.org 4 out of every 5 Americans will experience unemployment, rely on a public program for the poor, or live at least one year in or near poverty. 289,000 Ohioans Policy changes lives 162,000 children lived above poverty each year from 2011 to 2013, due to the EITC and Child Care Tax Credits. 61 percent of hungry household s in America participated in a federal food and nutrition assistance program in 2014.
  14. 14. Economic Growth Leaves the Poorest Americans Behind Deborah Weinstein October 29, 2015
  15. 15. The economy alone won’t lift enough people out of poverty. But effective public programs work.
  16. 16. What the economy does… Top 5%: Average incomes rose from $325,000 in 2010 to $346,000 in 2014. Bottom Fifth: Average incomes dropped from $12,280 to $11,900.
  17. 17. 20 million needlessly poor 22 million How many fewer poor people if we cut poverty in half by 2020 2 million How many fewer poor people if we keep reducing poverty at the current rate
  18. 18. Poverty costs too much Children who have • Head Start • Nutritious food • Secure housing • Health care Families who have • Stable jobs • Secure income contribute to shared economic growth • After the SNAP cut in 2013, households with babies and toddlers were 23% more likely to be “food insecure” (thus more subject to bad health, falling behind in school) -- Children’s HealthWatch
  19. 19. And yet… Instead of investing, we’ve been cutting (FY’s ’10-’15): Job training for adults, youth: - 18% K-12 low-income school aid: - 10% Juvenile Justice state grants: - 45%  Substance abuse treatment: - 28%  Public housing capital funds: - 32% Home heating aid: - 40%
  20. 20. Still Deeper, in 2013 Sequestration: • 67,000 rental vouchers still lost • 57,000 children denied Head Start • Millions of meals to home-bound seniors not delivered SNAP (food stamps) cut: Amount per meal dropped from $1.70 to $1.40
  21. 21. The wrong direction:
  22. 22. As Halloween approaches, Congress was scaring us From Bad to Catastrophic: • Temporary spending bill will expire December 11 – but need action now to stop sequester cuts. • Federal borrowing authority will expire November 3. But…
  23. 23. Breaking news: maybe a deal Paid for by: • Grab-bag of misc. savings • SSDI restrictions – advocates very concerned • Repeal of ACA auto-enrollment Don’t know yet if it will have enough support. Speaker Boehner’s gift: • Extends debt limit through 2017 • Raises sequester caps: o $66b in FY 2016 o $46b in FY 2017 o Evenly split between defense and domestic • Medicare premium fix • SSDI fix • Small House Rotunda in U.S. Capitol named “Freedom Foyer”
  24. 24. Stop the Cuts Advocacy Helped! But deal illustrates the limits when fair tax increases are off the table. We need to keep showing the choices. Please stay in touch for next steps!
  25. 25. Strategies for Ohio Bill Sundermeyer Advocates for Ohio’s Future
  26. 26. * * * * * * * * * * * *
  27. 27. * * * * * * * * * * * * Source: The Center for Community Solutions, “The Road from Childhood to Successful Adulthood”
  28. 28. * * * * * * * * * * * * Source: The Center for Community Solutions, “The Road from Childhood to Successful Adulthood”
  29. 29. * * * * * * * * * * * * Source: Ohio Department of Development, “ Ohio African-Americans”
  30. 30. MOST IN-DEMAND JOBS DON’T PAY Most common Ohio jobs leave families still needing food aid, Medicaid or cash assistance Occupational Group Number Employed Median Wage Median Annual Pay Percent of Poverty Level 2015 Food Preparation and Serving 162,750 $8.85 $18,407 92% Waiters and Waitresses 85,230 $8.86 $18,437 92% Cashiers 115,130 $9.19 $19,108 95% Home Health Aides 68,900 $9.71 $20,208 101% Retail Sales 156,010 $9.90 $20,600 103% Janitors and Cleaners 82,340 $10.43 $21,695 108% Laborer, Freight/Material Movers 98,510 $11.12 $23,129 115% Stock Clerks and Order Filers 77,870 $11.16 $23,210 116% Nursing Assistants 69,390 $11.55 $24,023 120% Office Clerks, General 99,250 $13.61 $28,292 141% Customer Service Representatives 77,630 $15.26 $31,745 158% Registered Nurses 124,400 $29.64 $61,644 307% Adapted from Policy Matters Ohio
  31. 31. Government is almost always wasteful and inefficient Government often does a better job than people give it credit for Both/Neither/DK/Ref 2014 56 40 4 2013 55 39 6 Poor people today have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return Poor people have hard lives because government benefits don’t go far enough to help them Both/Neither/DK/Ref 2014 44 47 9 Dec. 2013 43 43 14 The government should do more to help needy Americans, even if it means going deeper into debt The government today can’t afford to do much more to help the needy Both/neither/DK/Ref 2014 43 51 6 2011 41 51 8 Racial discrimination is the main reason why black people can’t get ahead these days Black people who can’t get ahead in this country are mostly responsible for their own condition Both/Neither/DK/Ref 2014 27 63 10 2012 21 60 19 Source: Pew Research Center, “2014 Political Polarization and Typology Survey”
  32. 32. FRAME A: SYMPATHY FOR THE POOR  In a weak economy the working poor have to take any job they can get. Imagine the plight of a single mother working a low-wage job. Even at $10 an hour, she earns only about $20,000 per year with few benefits like healthcare and paid leave. Who could support a family on $20,000 a year? The working poor frequently need to choose between buying food and paying the rent. We need to ask our government officials to find a way to address these problems and help the most vulnerable. Source: Frameworks, “Communicating About Poverty and Low-Wage Work”
  33. 33. FRAME B: RESPONSIBLE ECONOMIC PLANNING  The nation is relying too heavily on low-wage service sector jobs from national companies without insisting that they pay workers good wages and benefits. Creating prosperity tomorrow requires responsible planning today. Too many companies and decision makers focus on the short-term profits and short-term thinking to the detriment of our workforce. And when we allow one part of the workforce to weaken and struggle, it weighs down the economy for us all, resulting in a lower standard of living. Our nation needs to change its short-term thinking and start building good-paying jobs with benefits, and a strong economy for the long-term. With better planning we can repair the nation’s economic engine and create a future with a strong economy and good paying jobs for our workers. Source: Frameworks, “Communicating About Poverty and Low-Wage Work”
  34. 34. Which frame do you think is the most effective?
  35. 35. KEY ELEMENTS OF FRAMES Responsible Economic Planning Sympathy for the Poor The issues are the economy, jobs, and the future of prosperity. The issues are poverty, the poor, and the working poor. The relevant values are responsibility, vision, stewardship, interdependence. The relevant values are sympathy, disparities, the Golden Rule, and generosity. The economy is a system that can be influenced; humans have the power to influence economic decisions. The economy is irrelevant, or it is cyclical, uncontrollable. Trends, broader influences are integral to the story. Profiles of sad individuals are integral to the story. The reader’s relationship to the problem is connective, it is about “us.” The reader’s relationship to the problem is separate; it is about “them.” Solutions are the focus; the problem is manageable. Problems are the focus; the issue is overwhelming. Responsibility for fixing the problem lies with citizens collectively. Strengthening communities is one of the objectives for action. Responsibility for fixing the problem rests with the individuals who are having the problem. Source: Frameworks, “Communicating About Poverty and Low-Wage Work”
  36. 36. FRAMING GUIDELINES Source: Topos Partnership, “Framing Guidelines”
  37. 37. POSSIBLE ACTIONS TO IMPACT POVERTY AND INCREASE THE MIDDLE CLASS  Create jobs The best pathway out of poverty is a well-paying job.  Raise the minimum wage In the late 1960s a full time worker earning the minimum wage could lift a family of three out of poverty. The minimum wage in Ohio, while above the federal minimum wage, needs to be increased to $15.00 in order to accomplish the prior ability to lift a family of three out of poverty.  Improve the Earned Income Tax Credit for Ohio Ohio’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) could be a much more powerful tool for helping working families make ends meet and provide for their children. Just 7 percent of Ohio’s poorest workers – those earning $19,000 or less – see any benefit from the credit, and the benefit is modest.[1] Unlike the federal credit, Ohio’s EITC cannot exceed what a taxpayer owes in income taxes.  Support pay equity There are currently significant gaps in pay rates for women vs men in Ohio.
  38. 38.  Provide paid leave and paid sick days The United States is the only developed country in the world without paid family and medical leave and paid sick days , making it difficult for families to balance work and family without having to sacrifice needed income. Paid leave is an important anti-poverty policy, as having a child is one of the leading causes of economic hardship.  Establish work schedules that work Low-wage and hourly jobs increasingly come with unpredictable and constantly shifting work schedules, which means workers struggle even more to balance erratic work hours with caring for their families.  Invest in affordable, high-quality child care and early education The lack of affordable, high-quality child care and early education serves as a major barrier to reaching the middle class. One year of child care for an infant can cost more than a year of tuition at a four year public college.  Build strong, accessible health care and behavioral health care systems. Access to affordable health care to prevent and manage illness is critical to healthy, learning children, and a strong workforce.
  39. 39. PRACTICE FRAMING YOUR MESSAGE  You are talking to your state senator on Tuesday morning before the Senate takes up the proposed State Budget. You raise the topic of the need to increase state funding for:  Education, Food, Health Care, Housing, Jobs, Medicaid, Skill Training, Transportation, Wages, other  Economic/Society Responsibility Argument  Individual’s Responsibility Argument
  40. 40. HOW YOU CAN HELP Respond to “Act Now” requests (email) Calls, emails are critical Share info, help others become advocates @advocates4OH Facebook.com/advocatesforohio @CoalitionHN @PolicyMattersOH
  41. 41. Q&A with Hannah, Debbie and Bill Unmute by pressing *6 or using the microphone button on the top center of your screen. You can also ask a question by typing into the chat bar.
  42. 42. Thank you for joining us today! Please wait while you are directed to the survey.

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