- 1 Ways to Resist
- 2 Updates
- 3 Actions Taken by the State Government
- 4 Key Upcoming Elections
- 5 Healthcare
- 6 Policing
- 7 Immigration
- 8 Voting Rights
- 9 Mass Incarceration
- 10 Benefits / Tax Cuts
- 11 Housing/Infrastructure
- 12 Women's Rights/Reproductive Justice
- 13 LGBTQ+ Issues
- 14 Educational Justice
- 15 Consumer Protections/Workers' Rights
- 16 Climate / Environment
- 17 Disability Rights
- 18 Organizations and Events
- 19 Local News Sources
- 20 Relevant City and County Information
Ways to Resist
- Contact your elected officials:
- Get involved with local organizations.
- Find organizations with state and local presences working in your area.
- Check out our Tools of Resistance.
- Look for upcoming events and opportunities and state and local events.
- 3/27/2017: An Ohio grand jury declines to indict two police officers in a fatal shooting of a black man last year, and protests erupt anew. The officers now face an administrative review. 
- 2/17/2017: Conservative Republican lawmakers are moving to make Ohio a “right to work” state where union power would be significantly diluted by making membership and dues optional.
- 2/13/2017: Executions in Ohio are on hold again, until at least May. Eight condemned prisoners have received a reprieve amid legal challenges to lethal injection procedures.
Actions Taken by the State Government
Legislation that Supports Equity and Justice
Important bills proposed by Ohio lawmakers this legislative session that should be supported:
- HB 160 / SB 100 would ban discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals in employment, housing and public accommodations.
Harmful bills proposed by Ohio lawmakers this legislative session that should be opposed:
- Bill would prohibit cities and counties from becoming sanctuaries, criminalize elected officials who create sanctuaries, and allow people to sue their city to ensure compliance.
See also the main policy pages for federal legislative tracking.
Executive / Administrative Actions
Key Upcoming Elections
Click here to find out if you're registered to vote. Register to vote here. The deadline is 30 days before Election Day. Bring proof of identification the first time you vote. A non-photo ID is required every time you vote.
2018 House Elections: Ohio Congressional District 2: The "Democratic" candidate who was on the November 2016 ballot is fairly misleading; the Cincinnati Enquirer described him as a "zombie" candidate, as he essentially does no campaigning. The Democratic counties in District 2, including Clermont and Hamilton, all endorsed Janet Everhard. Brad Wenstrup, the incumbent who also won in 2016, is a Tea Party Republican singly focused on repealing the ACA and otherwise advancing Trump's agenda.
2018 Senate Elections:
2018 Governor Election Current Republican governor John Kasich is term limited. His second term will end in January 2019.
- Cincinnati will hold a mayoral race in 2017. The primary will take place on May 2, with the top two candidates advancing to the second round on November 7. Incumbent Mayor John Cranley endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
- Cleveland will hold a mayoral race in 2017. The primary will take place on September 12, with the top two candidates advancing to the general election on November 7. Incumbent Frank Jackson is running for a fourth term—he has served as mayor since 2006.
- Toledo will hold a mayoral race in 2017. The primary will take place on September 12, with the top two candidates advancing to the general election on November 7. Incumbent Paula Hicks-Hudson is seeking reelection.
- Cincinnati will hold a city council race in 2017. The primary will take place on May 2 and the general on November 7.
- Cleveland will hold a city council race in 2017. The primary will take place on September 12 and the general on November 7.
- Columbus will hold a city council race in 2017, as well as elections for City Attorney and City Auditor. The primary will take place on May 2 and the general on November 7.
- Toledo will hold a city council race in 2017. The primary will take place on September 12, and the general on November 7.
- Ohio would be one of the hardest hit in the case of a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA): 9th highest in overall negative effect, and third highest potential for lost jobs in 2019.
- Given that a repeal of the ACA would also change payment structures and subsidies, 126,000 jobs could be lost in Ohio. When federal funding is cut, it creates a ripple effect that affects local and state revenue, thus creating losses in economic activity and employment.
- If there is a full repeal of the ACA, 963,000 people in Ohio (or 8.3% of the population) are estimated to lose coverage, whereas 964,000 people (or 8.3% of the population) will lose coverage with a partial repeal. (Retrieved 1/29/2017 from ACA Repeal Impact, state-by-state.) This is because with a full repeal, premiums will not increase the way they would under a partial repeal, since insurance companies will be able to discriminate on the basis of preexisting conditions and won't be required to provide essential health benefits.
- The number of uninsured people in Ohio is predicted to be 625,000 by 2021 under the ACA. Without the ACA, that number is expected to rise to 1,432,000, a 129.1% increase.
- Ohio is among the many states that lost the ability to place lifetime limits on coverage, because that practice is banned by the ACA; those limits are likely to be reinstated under a full repeal.
- Prior to the ACA's ban on gender-rating, women in Ohio could pay up to 50% more for the same coverage, compared to men; an ACA repeal could bring back that coverage gap.
- Ohio's hospitals could lose $15 billion in the next 10 years treating low-income patients without insurance.
- Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, who is up for reelection in 2018, voted to keep the ACA.
- Under the ACA Repeal-and-Delay strategy, young adults in Ohio could pay $542 more in 2018.
- 125 people were killed by police in Ohio from 2013 to 2016, which is the 36th highest per capita in the country.
- Black people were killed at a rate 3.5 times higher than the rate for all people in Ohio.
- Cincinnati has the 19th highest rate of police killings among major cities in the US.
- Department of Justice Consent Decree 2015 - Cleveland
Incidents: Shootings and head strikes with impact weapons; use of less lethal force with Tasers, chemical spray and fists; excessive force against persons who are mentally ill, in crisis (even when called for a welfare check), or already in handcuffs.
Findings: Pattern of unreasonable or unnecessary deadly force in violation of the 4th Amendment of the Constitution.
Consent Decree 2015: Create Community Police Commission and Mental Health Response Advisory Committee. Implement bias-free training and diversity recruitment. Reform use of force policies, mandatory reporting and investigation, requirements for de-escalation, and prohibition on retaliatory force.
- In 2013, Ohio had 477,337 immigrants, making up 4.1% of the population.
- There are estimated to be 95,000 undocumented immigrants in Ohio, making up 0.8% of the population.
Rights of Non-Citizens
- Ohio does not allow undocumented immigrants to get drivers’ licenses.
- Ohio does not allow undocumented immigrants to attend public college at the same in-state tuition rate as legal residents and citizens.
- In 2012, President Barack Obama signed an executive order (DACA) that defers deportation for children who were brought to the country as children. The action allows them to work lawfully but does not create a pathway to citizenship or give them legal status in the United States. In Ohio, 6,654 individuals have benefited from this executive action.
- 1.5% of K-12 students in Ohio had undocumented parents in 2014.
- Undocumented immigrants in Ohio made up 1.1% of the labor workforce in 2014.
- If all undocumented workers were removed from Ohio, the state would lose $4 billion in economic activity.
- Undocumented immigrants paid $72.8 million in state and local taxes in Ohio in 2012.
- Ohio’s state legislature introduced a bill requiring police to check immigration status, but it failed to pass.
- Ohio does not have any cities or counties with sanctuary policies.
- Ohio ranked fifth in refugee resettlement in 2016, with 4,194 refugees resettled.
- Ohio’s Department of Job and Family Services offers refugee services.
- Ohio does not permit online voter registration. Ohio does, however, permit early voting and no-excuse absentee voting. An Ohio voter must provide some form of documentation proving his or her identity at the polls, but a photo is not required.
- In September 2016 the US Supreme Court refused to intervene in a voting rights case from Ohio, leaving intact a reduction of early voting days that was enacted by the state's Republican-controlled Legislature.
- As a result, Ohio remained one of 14 states with new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election in 2016.
- In 2014, 69,709 people were incarcerated in Ohio, plus a probation population of 243,282, and parole population of 16,797.
- Of the prison population, 6,075 people were serving life sentences, and 408 were serving life sentences without parole.
- 2,283 juveniles were in custody in Ohio in 2013.
- In Ohio, a black person was 5.6 times more likely to be incarcerated than a white person in 2014.
- 5,370 people were incarcerated in private prisons.
- Corrections expenditures in 2014 were $1,856 billion.
Benefits / Tax Cuts
- Ohio residents who face a tax increase under Trump’s plan:
- Households: 308,000
- Adults and children: 959,000
- Children: 570,000
- In 2015, an average of 818,704 households and 1,676,263 individuals received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps) in a given month in Ohio. In 2011, approximately 15% of the population of Ohio was receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps). The average monthly benefit per Ohio household was $252 per household and $122 per person in 2016.
- In 2016, an average of 107,761 households, including 57,644 families and 94,076 children, received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which is direct financial assistance, in a given month. The average monthly benefit for a single parent with three children residing in Ohio was $473 in 2014. Average benefits in Ohio have fallen in value by 9.0% since 1996.
- In 2016, an average of 55,306 women received funds from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in a given month.
- In 2015, there were 15,419 Social Security recipients in the "aged" category who received $386.47 per person on average, for a total of $5,959,000..
- 344,900 low-income households in Ohio spent more than half of their income on housing.
- In 2014, Ohio had 38 units of affordable and available housing for every 100 households categorized as “extremely low income” (at or below 30% of area median income.)
- In Ohio, there were 110,404 homeless people in 2016, which is 1.89% of the total national homeless population.
- Of the homeless population, there were 1,079 families, 930 veterans, 576 unaccompanied young adults (18-24), and 778 people experiencing chronic homelessness.
- Ohio received $1.4 billion in federal rental assistance funding in 2014.
- In Ohio, more than 231,000 families relied on federal rental assistance in 2014.
- Nearly all Ohio households using federal rental assistance included children, elderly people or disabled people.
- Ohio’s infrastructure received a score of C- from the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2010.
- This study identified roads as being in “poor” condition.
- In 2013, the Department of Transportation found that 24.6% of Ohio’s bridges were structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and 42% of Ohio’s roads were in poor or mediocre condition.
- Driving on these roads leads to an additional $212 per motorist per year in increased vehicle repairs and operating costs.
Women's Rights/Reproductive Justice
- Ohio has 27 Planned Parenthood centers.
- In 2015, 10 centers were in rural, medically underserved, or health provider shortage areas.
- On average, there is one Planned Parenthood for 82,038 women of reproductive age.
Policy Solutions / Issues
- There were 17 abortion providers in Ohio in 2015.
- In 2014, 8.7 out of every 1,000 women of reproductive age in Ohio had an abortion. The national abortion rate is 14.6.
Policy Solutions / Issues
- There is a 24-hour waiting period required after mandatory counseling.
- Parental consent is required for minors.
- Ultrasound requirements exist.
- Medical abortion is limited.
- Private insurance coverage is limited.
- State Medicaid does not fund most abortions.
- TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws exist.
Women and Wages
- In Ohio, 14.6% of women live in poverty. 43.1% of single mothers live in poverty, as do 8.8% of women age 65 and older.
- For every dollar made by men, women are paid $0.75, which is five cents below the national average of $0.80.
- African American women are paid $0.66 for every dollar paid to white men, while Latina women make $0.60 for every dollar made by white men.
- In 2010, there were 70,717 calls for domestic violence incidents. Of these, 47.4 percent resulted in domestic violence, protection order, or consent agreement charges being filed.
- In Ohio in 2013, there were 38 domestic violence fatalities.
- On one day in September 2014 in Ohio, 943 domestic violence victims (481 children and 462 adults) found refuge in emergency shelters or transitional housing provided by local domestic violence programs.
- In the 24-hour survey period, Ohio domestic violence hotlines answered 659 calls, averaging more than 27 hotline calls every hour.
Religious freedom law
Ohio does not have state religious freedom laws. Religious freedom laws protect people's right to practice their religion and limit laws imposing on that right, and were intended to protect religious minorities. However, after same-sex marriage was legalized, conservative states have attempted to enact similar laws with provisions that allow discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals.
Ohio lacks nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, adoption, insurance, credit, and jury selection. Ohio does have protections for state employees and in the foster care system.
Ohio also lacks laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in parenting, including second-parent adoption, surrogacy, parental presumption for same-sex couples, consent to inseminate and de facto parent recognition. Ohio has protections from discrimination in foster care.
Hate crime laws
Ohio also does not include LGBTQ+ people in its hate crime laws as a protected group and doesn't have required reporting of hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people.
Ohio does not have laws protecting LGBTQ+ youth, such as transgender inclusion in sports, protection from conversion therapy, laws to address LGBTQ+ youth homeless, LGBTQ+ inclusive sex education laws, or LGBTQ+ inclusive juvenile justice policies.
Health and safety laws
Ohio does not have certain laws protecting the health and safety of its LGBTQ+ citizens, including nondiscrimination protections in the ACA exchanges, a ban on insurance exclusions for trans health care, trans-inclusive health benefits for state employees, health data collection, or gender-neutral single-occupancy restrooms. Ohio does allow gender marker changes on identification documents. Ohio does have laws that discriminate against LGBTQ+ people in ensuring their health and safety, such as laws that criminalize HIV/AIDS and that prevent transgender people from obtaining appropriate IDs.
- HIV criminalization laws are those that make it illegal for an HIV-positive person to “knowingly expose” another person to HIV—in some states, this means that it is illegal not to disclose HIV-positive status to a sex partner, but many laws criminalize behaviors that are unlikely to lead to transmission. Because the laws focus on disclosure, not actual transmission, they serve no real purpose. All states have other, non-HIV-specific laws that can be used to prosecute transmission of HIV, so these laws just needlessly single out and stigmatize HIV-positive people and reinforce the image of them as “dangerous.” It also allows the saliva or blood of an HIV-positive person to be classified in court as a “deadly weapon.” HIV criminalization laws also disproportionately target people of color, mainly Black people, and gay men.
- Ohio is ranked 19th in per-pupil spending as of 2013, with an average expenditure of $11,197 per student.
- As of 2013, Ohio ranked 15th in teacher pay, with teachers earning an average of $58,092 per year.
- 85% of students in Ohio attend public schools. As is the case in other states, students who attend private schools come from wealthier families, with private school families earning an average 48% higher income.
- As of 2014, public charter school enrollment accounted for 7.0% of total public school enrollment.
- 87% of White students, 69% of Hispanic students, 63% of Black students, and 88% of Asian/Pacific Islander students graduate from high school in four years. The graduation rates for Black and Latino students are significantly lower than the national average.
Consumer Protections/Workers' Rights
- Ohio's state minimum wage is $8.15, but $7.25 for employers who gross less than $299,000 per year.
- Ohio has no state law for paid sick leave.
- Ohio has no state law for paid family leave.
- Ohio is currently a state with no Right-to-Work laws, which means that the state can not prohibit unions that collectively bargain on behalf of both members and nonmembers from requiring union fees for the services they provide to all workers they represent. Such laws are designed to reduce unions' income and power.
- Ohio is a state with an at-will exemption. "At-will" means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason, except an illegal one, or for no reason, without breaking the law. Likewise, an employee is free to leave a job at any time for any or no reason with no adverse legal consequences.
- Ohio also has a public policy exemption, meaning that an employer may not fire an employee if it would violate the state's public policy doctrine or a state or federal statute, including refusing to perform an act that state law prohibits (e.g., refusing an employer's request to commit perjury at a trial), reporting a violation of the law (e.g., reporting an employer's fraudulent accounting practices or use of child labor), engaging in acts that are in the public interest (e.g., joining the National Guard or performing jury duty) and exercising a statutory right (e.g., filing a claim under the state workers' compensation law).
- Ohio does allow for implied contract exemptions.. An implied contract can be created in several different ways: oral assurances by a supervisor; or handbooks, policies or practices as written assurances by the employer. This means that if there is no written contract between the employer and employee, that employee may have an exception of fixed term or even indefinite employment based on an employer's statements. As a general rule, courts disregard language promising long-term, lifetime or permanent employment as aspirational and consider the relationship to be at-will.
- Ohio does not support the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing. Courts have interpreted the covenant in different ways, from requiring just cause for termination to prohibiting terminations made in bad faith or motivated by malice.
Climate / Environment
- About 80% of Ohio’s electricity generation is from fossil fuels.
- Ohio has 38 sites on the National Priorities List.
- Approximately 1.7% of Ohio’s land is federally owned.
- In 2014, the Black population had the highest air pollution exposure indices—65—compared to an overall index of 46 and a White index of 43.
- In 2012, Native American adults in Ohio were most likely to have asthma—16.3%, compared to 9.9% overall. 
- The environmental agency in Ohio is the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
- Ohio does not have a climate action plan.
- In 2016, Ohio established a renewable energy goal of 12.5% by 2027.
- Ohio has the 16th-highest percentage of disabled people in America: 13.9% of Ohio’s residents are disabled, compared with the national average of 12.6%. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table R1810]
- Ohioans with disabilities have the 29th-highest employment rate in the country, at 35.2%, compared to the national average of 34.9%. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table R1811] People without disabilities in Ohio have a 77.7% employment rate. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B18120]
- Approximately 16.9% of eligible voters in Ohio have one or more disabilities, compared to a national average of 15.71%.
- Of adults with disabilities in Ohio, 30.2% live in poverty, as opposed to 11.8% of non-disabled adults. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B23024] The poverty rate for disabled children under 5 is 37.4%, as opposed to 25.3% for non-disabled children. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B18130]
- In Ohio, 5.9% of adults between 18 and 64 receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income), compared to the national average of 5.4%. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B19056]
Organizations and Events
Find state/local chapters of national organizations here.
Environmental Justice Groups
State and Local Disability Rights Organizations
- The Arc of Ohio
- Brain Injury Association of Ohio
- Community Centers for the Deaf
- Disability Advocacy Alliance
- Disability Rights Ohio, Ohio's P&A (Protection & Advocacy) agency
- HOME Choice, Ohio's MFP (Money Follows the Person) program, helping people transition from institutions back into the community
- Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council
- Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities
- Ongoing: Coffee, Cake and True Islam
Local News Sources
Relevant City and County Information
- Black Lives Matter Cleveland
- Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus : Join the CCPC Trump Response Team as a Team Leader or Team Member.
- Showing Up for Racial Justice Ohio
- Action Together Stark: Join the Stark (and surrounding) County progressives group working to effect local change.