On The Go: News from Greater Ohio Policy Center

February 21, 2020

 
GOPC Releases 2020-21 Public Policy Platform Building a Greater Ohio

(GOPC) has released its Public Policy Platform for 2020-2021, "Building a Greater Ohio".

Through advocacy, research, outreach, and education, GOPC strives to create a policy and political climate that allows communities to stabilize and thrive for statewide economic growth. It is imperative that state policymakers be well informed about the issues and opportunities facing Ohio. 

GOPC's 2020-2021 public policy agenda is based on objective data, not politics. It builds upon what exists, sees what could be, and creates solutions to enable sustainable growth; encourages pride in place; and fosters collaboration to "Build a Greater Ohio." 

 
 

The 2020-2021 Public Policy Agenda focuses on three priorities:

  • Investing in Brownfields
  • Innovating Mobility and Transportation
  • Empowering Ohio's Legacy Cities

With our policy platform as a guide, GOPC will advocate for policies and initiatives with the Ohio General Assembly and the DeWine-Husted administration - related to these issues, as well as capital investment, budget and taxation, housing, and other areas that are central to GOPC's mission of improving Ohio's communities through smart growth strategies and research and fulfill the vision of a revitalized Ohio.

You can read our full policy platform, along with policy recommendations, on our website, www.greaterohio.org 
 

Sandusky, Greenfield Join Ohio State Resource Network

In 2020, the Ohio State Resource Network (OSRN) kicked off engagements with the City of Sandusky and the Village of Greenfield, Ohio to improve their fiscal sustainability and/or provide an enhanced quality of life for residents. Through OSRN, local government leaders are receiving technical assistance to meet the needs of their communities. The engagements will result in strategies to guide leaderships’ future decision-making to attract and retain residents and businesses as well as fulfill other community priorities.

 
Greenfield, Ross County, Ohio.

The Greater Ohio Policy Center (GOPC) partnered with the National Resource Network, Arnold Ventures, and the Just Transition Fund to pilot OSRN in 2019. It empowers Ohio’s leaders from economically challenged communities to take on their toughest problems. The OSRN is a one-year pilot, although OSRN staff are working to identify long-term funding support. For the pilot project, applications were received from all over the state in summer 2019 and narrowed down based on 1-hour intake calls and in-person community assessments conducted by OSRN staff to determine a final set of grantees.

Through the application process, the City of Sandusky requested that OSRN help the community promote sustainable tourism, guide workforce development, and scale-up resources for regional development efforts to diversify the local economy. OSRN is currently working with Sandusky and its partners to position the city for success by developing a multi-year financial plan to guide public investments and by assisting a regional collaborative body in implementing key initiatives that extend beyond the city government.

The OSRN will work with Greenfield to strengthen community capacity and economic development by creating a downtown strategic plan that builds on existing efforts and by organizing an implementation leadership group to facilitate activities related to fundraising, partnership building, and marketing.
OSRN is working side-by-side with the two communities to deliver direct assistance over a three to 12 month period.
OSRN members expect to award additional municipalities with technical assistance in 2020, so stay tuned to hear what other communities will receive assistance!

CRA Comments Deadline Approaches

Last month, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), an independent bureau within the U.S. Department of the Treasury, along with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), proposed rules that would considerably weaken the regulations governing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

 

The 60-day comment period on the proposed rules ends on March 9. If you have not already done so, please review the full proposed rules and then submit comments outlining your concerns and urging the OCC and FDIC to reconsider the proposed rules and keep the CRA as a important and valuable tool in the toolbox towards ensuring LMI communities have access to banking and bank-lending.  

Reinvention Cities Gather in Chillicothe for latest Roundtable

This week, leaders in Chillicothe and GOPC hosted the Reinvention Cities Network Roundtable.  Held quarterly, these roundtables are hosted in one of Ohio’s sixteen small legacy cities. The roundtables provide communities with peer learning and networking opportunities, and allow community leaders to witness revitalization efforts underway in a peer city. 

 
RCN Meeting in Chillicothe.

Each roundtable also offers a new theme aimed at providing legacy cities with tools and resources necessary to complete revitalization in their communities. This quarter, development was the focus, and how communities can identify their assets, and leverage them in a sophisticated, strategic way to ensure they put their best foot forward for development. In November 2019, community leaders had an open dialogue with JobsOhio about small legacy cities and the Reinvention Cities Network. This quarter’s theme is an expansion of that conversation, as JobsOhio shared leveraging assets is a crucial component to economic development. 

Bringing together small legacy cities for themed peer learning is pillar of the Reinvention Cities Network. More opportunities will be provided throughout 2020.

 
 
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