Formed in 2007, the Ohio Organizing Collaborative (OOC) is an experimental statewide organization that unites community organizing groups, labor unions, faith organizations, and policy institutes across the state. OOC's mission is to build a transformative base of power to bring about social change and racial and economic equity in Ohio; OOC does this through fourteen member organizations with a base in every major metropolitan area across the state.
Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership (TNP) is a non-profit community development agency serving the neighborhoods of Warren. TNP's mission is to empower local residents and promote sustainable community development through projects and programs that increase the quality of life in Warren's neighborhoods.
Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC) is a multifaceted neighborhood development organization performing strategic neighborhood reinvestment in neighborhoods throughout the city. YNDC transforms neighborhoods into meaningful places where people invest time, money and energy into their homes and neighborhoods; where neighbors have the capacity to manage day-to-day issues; and where neighbors feel confident about the future of their neighborhood.
The Raymond John Wean Foundation seeks to enhance the Mahoning Valley's well-being and vitality through grantmaking, convening, advocating and providing leadership with a focus on economically disadvantaged people and neighborhoods. It also houses the Neighborhood SUCCESS Grant program, which is transforming the Valley’s current leadership paradigm to include meaningful and informed resident participation in the decision making processes that affect their neighborhood and community.
Criminal Justice and Mass Incarceration
Three decades of mass incarceration have devastated our communities and stripped economic opportunity from generations of Warren and Youngstown residents. We believe that stable families, economic security, and access to quality health care and education build strong communities. We are working to transform our justice system from one based in criminalization and incarceration –particularly of young people and people of color– to one based in sound, humane policies that support healing and growth for individuals, their families, and our communities.
Defending Our Public Schools
In 2015, MVOC leaders worked closely with parents, teachers, and community members to push back against HB70, a law that gives the state control of the Youngstown City School District and puts the fate of our schools in the hands of an appointed CEO. Together, we have worked to ensure that parents’ and educators’ voices are heard. We’re also working in partnership with Hedge Clippers and Innovation Ohio to expose the Wall Street billionaires who are funding legislative initiatives—in Ohio and across the country—to dismantle public education.
Leadership Training and Development
At the center of all MVOC organizing campaigns is the training and development of leadership. Our organizers develop leaders primarily through direct involvement in the design and implementation of issue campaigns. MVOC conducts organizing trainings throughout the course of a year, teaching local leaders the basic concepts of community organizing, including power analysis, self-interest, tactics and strategy, as well as technical skills like conducting one-to-one meetings and identifying leaders. MVOC is a key participant in an advanced statewide weeklong leadership training for community organizing. We also continue to collaborate with partners including the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, the Center for Community Change, the PICO National Network, and National People’s Action to learn from and work with community, faith, and electoral organizing groups across the state and nation.
Like each organizing campaign, MVOC’s civic engagement work is deeply grounded in sustaining the health and prosperity of our communities and residents. In 2015, MVOC not only registered new and lapsed voters across the Mahoning Valley, we also worked to engage low propensity and unlikely voters. These residents have voted in past presidential elections, but have failed to vote in either local or statewide election cycles. In 2015, MVOC organizers registered over 3,600 voters, knocked on more than 36,000 doors, made over 100,000 phone calls to potential voters, and initiated more than 12,000 conversations with voters.
MVOC’s faith work in the Mahoning Valley is centered around five key principles: publicly proclaiming the power, love, and justice of God; enhancing the voices of the poor and economically vulnerable; acting in ways that respect the God-given dignity of every person, even those perpetuating injustice; acting and organizing with courageous, creative love; teaching, preaching, and organizing to unify people of faith around the reduction of poverty, while increasing economic and racial justice.
Community Benefits Agreements
While economic development projects are often heavily subsidized by taxpayer dollars, they produce mixed results for residents. Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) are rooted in the concept that the purpose of economic development is to bring measurable and permanent improvements to the lives of all members of a community, particularly those in low-income neighborhoods. CBAs utilize democratic citizen involvement to address living wages, local hiring and training programs, environmental remediation, and funds for community programs. MVOC is working with elected officials, businesses, and community leaders to expand regional, racial, and economic accountability within the process of economic development in our region.