Fifteen Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative leaders — as part of a group of about 100 Ohio Organizing Collaborative members — lobbied state legislators Wednesday on a variety of issues.
The organizations favor the passage of a bill introduced by state Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, D-33rd, to permit people to enter abandoned properties with the specific purpose of cleaning them up without being liable for trespassing. The bill is needed to control blight in cities such as Youngstown and Warren, which have about 4,000 and 1,300 abandoned residential properties, respectively, according to the MVOC.
The MVOC leaders also lobbied against “right to work” legislation, and in support of Medicaid expansion to those making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that states could opt out of the expansion as part of the federal health-care program, called Obamacare. Ohio Gov. John Kasich is expected to make a decision early next month.
The MVOC is a community organization that partners with 110 neighborhood groups, faith-based institutions, labor unions and nonprofits in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties addressing quality-of-life issues.