April 19, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Innovation Ohio?

Innovation Ohio is a non-partisan organization that advances and promotes progressive public
policies in our state — and also provides rapid response analysis and commentary on legislation
and policy proposals put forward by others.

Why Was It Formed?

Because conservatives control every Ohio statewide office, both Houses of the General Assembly, and the Supreme Court, the progressive voice has been all but drowned out of Ohio’s public policy debate. Conservatives also have spent millions of dollars cultivating think tanks across America (including, for example, the Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions) to promote the conservative policy agenda. Innovation Ohio was created to help even the playing field and to ensure that progressive policy alternatives are part of the discussion here in Ohio.

How does Innovation Ohio differ from other think tanks and similar organizations?

Most other organizations do either detailed policy analysis or provide “rapid response” commentary. Innovation Ohio will do both, and aspires to be a policy, research and analytical hub for the progressive movement in Ohio.

Who Staffs Innovation Ohio?

Innovation Ohio will have several full-time staff, consultants, and fellows, as well as a number of unpaid academicians, policy experts and practitioners from around Ohio who serve as advisors and analysts. The President of Innovation Ohio is Janetta King, who previously was Deputy Chief of Staff for former Gov. Ted Strickland.

What role does former Gov. Strickland play in Innovation Ohio?

While certainly supportive of Innovation Ohio and its activities, Gov. Strickland has no formal role in the organization.

Who funds Innovation Ohio?

A number of organizations and individuals committed to progressive public policy have contributed to date. We hope to persuade many others to do so in the months ahead.

Will Innovation Ohio be active in politics or political campaigns?

Innovation Ohio is a non-partisan organization that is tax exempt under IRC 501 (c) (4). It also has a foundation that is tax exempt under IRC 501 (c) (3). As a result, Innovation Ohio will not urge the election or defeat of any candidate for political office, nor engage in any political activities proscribed by law. We will, however, vigorously participate in public policy debate.

You say Innovation Ohio is not a political organization. But isn’t it just a Democratic front group?

No. Though Innovation Ohio has an avowedly progressive perspective, we are not cheerleaders for any particular political party. We will work with anyone — Republican, Democrat, or Independent — who shares our commitment to strengthening the middle class, protecting the less advantaged, promoting equal opportunity and creating a sustainable economy that produces good-paying, long-term jobs.

What is Innovation Ohio’s governance structure?

Innovation Ohio will be governed by a 10-member Board of Trustees.