August 19, 2015 Brown Bag Lunch Forum: Impact of the State of Ohio Budget on Cuyahoga County
This forum focused on the particular lens of each presenter and how they viewed the State Budget. Zach Schiller presented an overview of the state budget that gave a historical narrative as well as the present priorities of the State with a particular focus on their revenues and expenses. Byron Solomon presented a local, grassroots approach about gaining justice for additional state funds for low income, transit dependent populations in Lorain and Cuyahoga county. Jim provided data on his network of 34 county land banks that provide the basis of his statewide effort to increase funding for the demolition of vacant and condemned properties. John provided new information about funding through the Medicaide expansion that was recently enacted. He indicated that 1 billion dollars had come into Cuyahoga county for low income health consumers.
Zach Schiller, Research Director for Policy Matters Ohio, has worked for more than two decades researching and writing about the Ohio economy as a business reporter for The Plain Dealer, Business Week, and with his current job at Policy Matters Ohio. His education includes a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. For Policy Matters, Zach has written about foreclosures, economic development, job growth, unemployment insurance, tax policy and other issues. He is a member of the board of managers of the Ohio Poverty Law Center.
Byron Solomon is a Community Organizer for NOBLE (Northern Ohioans for Budget Legislation Equality).
Jim Rokakis, Vice President of Western Reserve Land Conservancy and the Director of Thriving Communities Institute, has an incredible history of serving the Cleveland area. At the age of 22 he became the youngest member ever on the Cleveland City Council, and over 19 years he saw several successes in reversing neighborhood blight, redeveloping Downtown Cleveland, creating the Cleveland Housing Court and serving as chairman on the influential Finance Committee for his last seven years on Council. In 1997, Jim took office as Cuyahoga County Treasurer, and overhauled the entire office while greatly enhancing the county’s existing tax collection system by instituting state-of-the-art billing and collection processes. Jim helped write and pass House Bill 294, which streamlines the foreclosure process for abandoned properties and was a major force behind the creation of the Cleveland Land Bank.
John Corlett is the President and Executive Director at The Center for Community Solutions. Corlett’s career has included leadership roles in both the public and private sectors in Ohio, including MetroHealth System, Ohio's State Medicaid Director, and once again at The Center for Community Solutions. His career has also included leadership roles in community organizations focused on families, children, behavioral health, and women’s health. He serves on a number of community boards including The Saint Luke’s Foundation, The Centers for Families and Children, Community Partnership for Arts and Culture, The Center for Health Affairs, and The Greater Cleveland Food Bank.
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