Advocacy, Letter from the Executive Director, Reentry Services

HSC Members Engage with State Rep. Boggs, U.S. Senator Portman

State Representative Kristin Boggs, the Assistant Minority Leader in the Ohio House, addressed our full membership meeting this week; she provided a thorough overview of where things stand in the General Assembly with regards to the state budget, and answered a number of questions from our member leaders about pending legislation in areas ranging from transportation, to education, to energy. We’re grateful to Rep. Boggs for taking the time to address our membership and share her many insights!

An hour later, we were listening to U.S. Senator Rob Portman as he addressed the U.S. Department of Justice’s Stakeholder Session on Reentry, hosted by Alvis. Last year, Portman co-sponsored the reauthorization of the Second Chance Act, which will funnel $100 million per year into reentry services. We’re grateful to Sen. Portman for taking the time to address this conference, and for his championing of that bipartisan legislation which is now the law of the land.

For both of these opportunities to engage with elected officials, we were joined by our friends at the Human Services Chamber of Hamilton County–one of the few peer organizations we have across the country. We spent several hours talking about ways in which we can collaborate and support one another, the landscape of human services and supports across sectors in our respective communities, and the impact we hope to have for our collective member agencies.

We love conversations like these with partners and allies–like the conversations we had this week with very different entities: the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Ohio Chapter, and the Columbus Bar Association.

There is an enormous amount of work to do, and we are proud to be in a city with so many sectors and so many grassroots leaders, CEOs, and elected officials that are so eager to cross arms and get work done together.
At a time when federal government funding streams are as unpredictable as ever, and at a time when some federal agencies are making it harder and harder for our agencies to do their work, we’ll need to continue banding together to address the imperative needs of our community in the months and years to come.