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Jan 31, 2020
by: Carrie Larsen
Local Leaders Work to Pass Health and Human Services Levy

Last month Cleveland and Cuyahoga County leaders kicked off Issue 33 campaign to pass the Health and Human Services levy on the 2020 Primary Election Ballot. According to the Center for Community Solutions, Cuyahoga County has two Health and Human Services levies combined. One is a $3.9M levy that was last passed in 2018 for a two-year renewal and is set to expire in 2020. The second is $4.8M that was passed in 2016. When combined, the two levies bring in $239M annually and will fund four primary factors:

  • The Opioid Epidemic: The rate of opioid-induced deaths in the county is 2.5 times the national average; in the City of Cleveland, it is five times the national average. Since 2016, opioid addiction among parents has caused the number of children in Cuyahoga County who are in foster care or under protective supervision to grow by nearly 70%—nearly 1,500 additional children. 
  • Protracted Poverty: Cleveland is now the second-poorest major city in the country, and one out of five Cuyahoga County residents live in poverty, which for a family of three is an annual income of $21,330 or less.
  • Demographic Challenges and Needs: Cuyahoga County is now home to more residents who are over 60 than are under 20. Several age groups of county residents—including infants, working-age adults and older adults 65-74—have mortality rates higher than the state average. In 2017, neonatal infant mortality for all children born in Cuyahoga County was worse than it was in many impoverished countries. 
  • Insufficient Federal and State Support: Successive federal and state administrations have reduced their contributions to the Health and Human Services safety net. Ohio’s funding for children’s services remains the lowest in the nation.

On Tuesday, March 17, Cuyahoga County voters are being asked to VOTE YES on Issue 33, a replacement Health and Human Services levy of 4.7 mills. If passed, Issue 33 would increase the current millage rate of 3.9 mills by 0.8 mills and would be effective from 2021-2028.

Here's where you can support Issue 33:

  • Visit the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections page to learn about early voting, voting by mail, and more
  • Officially endorse the levy! Click here for an endorsement form, provided by the ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County
  • Talk about the levy with your family, friends and colleagues. Click here for a fact sheet, provided by the ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County.
  • Help assemble yard signs for the campaign on February 15 from 8:00am-12:00pm at the Greater Cleveland Foodbank (15500 S Waterloo Road, Cleveland, OH 44110)
  • Participate in phone banking
  • Follow the campaign on Facebook and join the campaign email list for updated and additional information about how you can help
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