News & Event
Hamilton County’s transportation funding for Issue 7 has passed! It’s a significant move to drive us forward to a more equitable future for our region. Now more than ever, the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic – which has disproportionately impacted people of color in our community – has shed a glaring light on system inequities we must address.
At Greater Cincinnati Foundation, we know that public transportation accessibility is key for low-income workers, which is one reason why we supported Issue 7.
As we rebuild the economy and redesign our systems, their contributions to the health and welfare of all of us will continue to be vital. It’s critical to remove barriers that impede their success.
Workplace access drives job opportunities that provide roadmaps out of poverty. With county-wide revenue support reflecting Metro’s service area and ridership base, the new system is a win for all of us.
We want to hear from you as we work to rebuild a region that allows us all to thrive.
The Reinventing Metro plan will:
Hamilton County ballot issue will fund new bus routes, road repairs
When you go to the polls in Hamilton County on Tuesday, March 17, we encourage you to support Issue 7 with a “Yes” vote. Issue 7 would replace Cincinnati’s 0.3 percent earnings tax with a 0.8 percent Hamilton County sales tax to reinvest in our transportation system, which is vital to promoting economic growth. The initiative will reinvest $130 million annually into improving our transportation system.
Issue 7 is supported by a diverse coalition of organizations and community leaders, including the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors, Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio, the All-In Cincinnati Coalition, United Way of Greater Cincinnati and our own Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. It also has bipartisan support from such politicians as Hamilton County Auditor Dusty Rhodes (D) and State Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Green Township).
The transit model in Hamilton County, created nearly 50 years ago, needs to change to address the growth in our population, much of it outside of the city of Cincinnati. Because Metro’s “hub-and-spoke” system revolves around downtown, major employers and employment centers outside the city center are underserved.
“This is about getting more buses on the road to connect people to jobs,” Seitz told the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Along with The Women’s Fund, GCF recognizes that Issue 7 will help to advance racial equity and women’s economic self-sufficiency in our region, by making jobs more accessible to women of color.
Here are seven reasons for your “Yes” vote:
For further information, visit www.moveforwardcincy.com and www.reinventingmetro.com.
CINCINNATI (May 25, 2017)—Affordable housing is an important topic for the Greater Cincinnati region. The Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) holds the unique privilege to be at the forefront of working on solutions to pressing issues such as this and partnering with community organizations that are on the ground making an impact in their community. GCF hosted a lunch and learn event where our donors and community partners could hear about new research focusing on the impact of affordable housing and learn what initiatives are being taken to solve the issue.
The expert panel included Liz Blume, Executive Director of Xavier University’s Community Building Institute, Mary Burke Rivers, Executive Director of Over-the-Rhine Community Housing, Kathy Schwab, Executive Director of Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), and Noam Gross-Prinz, Assistant Program Officer at LISC. Each shared key insights and findings that support an overwhelming need to create a more balanced housing situation for Cincinnati and the surrounding region.
View the Facebook video of the panel discussion above.
Download the Affordable Housing presentation [PDF]
Thank you to all of the community experts who spent their time and energy sharing this critical information. Thank you to all those who attended the event and gave their thoughts and insights. GCF is proud to be a part of such a bold community, filled with passion to make where we live a place everyone can thrive.
About The Greater Cincinnati Foundation
One of the nation’s leading community foundations, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As a community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of 2016, GCF had net assets of $563 million.
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation invests in a more vibrant and prosperous Greater Cincinnati where everyone can thrive. While GCF hasn’t traditionally been part of the election process, we felt it was necessary to show our support for both Issue 44 for the Cincinnati Public Schools and Preschool Promise and Issue 53 renewal of the Hamilton County Children’s Services Levy, as this election will affect the future of the children in our community.
Whether it is universal, quality preschool for the city or safety nets for children in the county, both these issues strengthen the systems that surround our community’s next generation to ensure their futures are strong.
Our community has revitalized neighborhoods, sparkling modern buildings, new storefronts, amazing restaurants, and a streetcar that moves from our now park-filled riverfront to our ultra-hip urban core.
But we have to embrace our other reality that everyone is not thriving in this wonderful renaissance our community is experiencing.
Our region has the second highest childhood poverty rate in the nation. Unacceptable disparities continue to exist between blacks and whites
(Urban League). An August 2016 research report cites Cincinnati as “one of the least economically mobile cities in the nation,” meaning children born into poverty will likely stay in poverty (Human Impact Partners full report pdf).
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation believes a successful educational career for each child, beginning with quality preschool, can help level the playing field in the long term. We are proud to support collaborative efforts like Success by Six®, Partners for a Competitive Workforce, StrivePartnership and The Women’s Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation which address these issues.
As the community’s philanthropic partner and the nation’s 35th largest community foundation, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation has been investing in quality educational and social services, but we cannot do it alone.
PolicyLink, a highly regarded national research and advocacy institute, shared the economic benefit to our region would be up to $6.3 billion a year if we could close the gap on income disparity.
Both Issue 44 and Issue 53 will create a strong future for our community’s children. With these levies, our community will blossom a true renaissance that benefits all in our community. We encourage you to vote on November 8 and to vote “yes” for both Issue 44 and Issue 53.
Find out more about why The Greater Cincinnati Foundation supports these issues:
Read The Women's Fund's PULSE Briefing on why teachers' wages are critical to quality preschool, as it outlines the many reasons why increased wages for childcare workers improves educational qualifications, improves staff stability and ultimately increases program quality.
One of the nation’s leading community foundations, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As a community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of 2015, GCF had net assets of $533 million.
CINCINNATI (October 18, 2016) — The Women’s Fund, is proud to join our partners at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation to show our support of Issue 44 for Cincinnati Public Schools and Preschool Promise.
We believe a successful educational career begins with quality preschool, taught by appropriately paid teachers. Issue 44 strengthens our K-12 public school system and expands access to high quality preschool.
The Women’s Fund works to improve women’s economic self-sufficiency in our community. We know several things affect a woman’s ability to be self-sufficient, but three of the critical factors are:
This levy addresses these factors and so much more. Issue 44 will provide access to high-quality preschool for children in Cincinnati and also increase the wages for preschool teachers to at least $15.00 an hour.
We know preschool is a fundamental building block in a child’s ability to enter kindergarten ready to learn. More than 40% of students in Cincinnati enter kindergarten already behind, and the gap is even greater among low-income children. Research shows quality preschool makes a major difference. It impacts readiness to learn, increases high school graduation rates and builds the behavioral and social skills necessary for success in life. Benefits extend to parents, neighborhoods, employers, and communities because increased achievement and employability reduces crime and adds to family stability, social cohesion, and economic prosperity.
Issue 44 will also increase wages for preschool teachers to at least $15.00 an hour. Currently, 95.6% of childcare workers are women, and 80% of single parent childcare workers with young children are on public benefits. These professionals are entrusted to teach our children at the most critical time of their brain development, yet we pay them the same wage as parking lot attendants. The time is now to address the low wages in this female-dominated space, and this levy does just that.
In our new PULSE Briefing, we outline the many reasons why increased wages for childcare workers improves educational qualifications, improves staff stability and ultimately increases program quality.
Check out our latest PULSE Briefing
We are stepping into 2017 with a strong plan for addressing the most pressing issues facing women’s economic self-sufficiency in our community. To achieve these ambitious goals, we need to grow and shape our team and resources accordingly.
We know the best answers for community change come from those who are closest to the issues.
In the coming year, we will devote more time and resources to co-creating solutions with the women we serve and the agencies that directly serve them. I’m excited to share with you some changes to our team to facilitate our growth and increase impact:
Lauren Jones will be stepping into a newly created Community Engagement Specialist position effective January 31. In this new role, Lauren will be responsible for elevating the most pressing issues affecting women and integrating them into our Fund’s strategy. She will also be responsible for training and mobilizing our growing team of volunteers and ensuring a strong presence for The Women’s Fund in our community. She will continue to lead our signature “Conversation” event featuring soccer legend Abby Wambach.
(Tickets go on sale January 10 at cincinnatiwomensfund.org.) Lauren’s strong background in community organizing and volunteer management will serve the Fund’s evolving needs well.
Felicia Zakem will be joining The Women’s Fund team as Development Officer. Felicia has been serving as the Development Officer for Women’s Philanthropy at the Jewish Federation for the past six years. Before moving into the philanthropic sector, she worked as a marketing specialist and a client relationship manager at several investment firms and earned her MBA from the University of Cincinnati. Felicia will be leading our fundraising strategy and donor relationships. Felicia is a seasoned development professional and her passion for these issues runs deep. Her leadership will inspire a new chapter of the transformational growth we have experienced over the past several years.
Please join me in warmly welcoming Felicia to our team and congratulating Lauren in her new role. Thanks again for your generosity and your confidence in our work.
The Women's Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation leads our community in ensuring the economic self-sufficiency of women in our region. Through leadership, research, and grantmaking, The Women’s Fund works to identify and address the barriers affecting working women and their families. Learn more and get involved at www.cincinnatiwomensfund.org.
Published January 2017
CINCINNATI (February 2, 2016) — The Women's Fund's talks to Soapbox Cincinnati about how gender affects a variety of issues in the community, and that gendered lens often helps reveal solutions to those issues.
The Women's Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation leads our community in ensuring the economic self-sufficiency of women in our region. We thank Soapbox Cincinnati for featuring our work!
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