Ohio Citizen Action informs, organizes, and mobilizes people to advocate for public interests across issues and campaigns. In person, by phone, and online we engage people in actions that protect public health, improve environmental quality, and benefit consumers. Our campaigns connect Ohioans and build a movement to protect democracy and create a sustainable and equitable future.
As ballot initiatives and elections come and go, the infrastructure built around an issue is often dismantled after a campaign. OCA stands ready to take on public interest campaigns – year round, year in, and year out.
OCA does it differently. We have continuity in our field canvass staff, a top-notch training program, and our own phone canvass staff. This homegrown infrastructure is an advantage for Ohio. Regardless of the issue, we are ready to implement quickly and effectively. We know Ohio voters – OCA canvassers have been knocking on doors in Ohio since 1979 and engaging our members via phone since 1984.
We use a strength-in-numbers strategy, focusing the political and consumer power of Ohio families on the problems they care about. We boil down complex issues into everyday language, put them into context, answer people’s questions and motivate people to help.
Sending enthusiastic, professional organizers into neighborhoods makes it easy for busy people to protect their own health, rights and interests by preventing abuses of government and corporate power.
In addition to the field canvassers, phone canvassers follow up on our door visits, spending more time with people and giving them new opportunities to make a difference. More about field and phone canvassing.
Just a few of our successful campaigns include:
- Protecting majority rule in Ohio with the One Person One Vote campaign with a resounding 57% No vote in August 2023
- Expanding the reach of Power a Clean Future Ohio, urging cities to commit to reducing local emissions by 30% by 2030
- Fighting to hold politicians accountable who were involved in the $61 Million House Bill 6 bribery scandal from 2019
- Preventing the sale of "Muny Light" (now Cleveland Public Power) to privately-owned competitor Cleveland Electric Illuminating (now FirstEnergy) in the mid-1970s
- Passing toxic chemical right-to-know ordinances in Cincinnati, Akron and other Ohio cities, which eventually became models for the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act in the mid-1980s
- Conducting “good neighbor” campaigns with some of Ohio's worst-polluting facilities (Sunoco, Cincinnati Specialties, Eramet, et al) which leveraged hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in pollution prevention in the 90s and 2000s
- Shutting down 22 of Ohio’s oldest, most polluting coal boilers in coalition with state and national groups;
- Preventing new pollution from proposed (but never built) projects like a 1,000 MW coal plant in Meigs County, a garbage incinerator in Cleveland and a coal-to-liquid fuel plant in Wellsvile; and
- Aggregating Cincinnati residents into an electricity buying group and securing 100% clean, renewable energy to meet their needs
Simply put, we win our campaigns because people care enough to get involved and the personal, immediate nature of field and phone canvassing and digital organizing makes it easy for them. Working together, we amplify individual actions to have greater impact on decision makers.