Our power to affect change in this world can often feel limited. Child abuse, disease, natural disaster…at times, so many problems can feel too big for one person to impact. But this November, we have an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of tens of thousands of people right here in Montgomery County with our votes. Our votes FOR Issue 11, the Montgomery County Human Services levy, will protect quality programs and critical services to people in need in every community in Montgomery County. That’s a big deal.
Issue 11 provides human services that include early diagnosis and treatment of mental and physical disabilities, valuable in-home support for our frail elderly, and foster care and adoption services for children who need loving homes to thrive.
Human services provide programs and services we might all need someday. Children are born with disabilities every day, and the sickness of addiction can attack anyone regardless of background. Have a friend or family member who has been laid off and had a difficult time finding work? What about an elderly neighbor who wants to remain in their own home but needs some support with nutritious meals, health or personal care to do so? Today more than 50,000 people from every community in Montgomery County rely on these critical, quality human services that help change lives for the better.
Human services help more than just individual families, too. Consider the outbreak of disease and what it would be like to live in a community without the nearly 21,000 immunizations provided to the public in a year’s time. Vaccinations prevent our children from contracting crippling vestigial diseases, and flu shots keep us healthy and prevent us from missing work. Public health services also conduct nearly 10,000 restaurant and grocery inspections and nearly 5,700 workplace air-quality reviews every year. Issue 11 can help keep these major lines of defense strong.
Montgomery County Human Services’ finances are reviewed regularly to assure accountability with our tax dollars. A local panel, the Human Services Levy Council, that includes independent business leaders, financial experts, and citizen volunteers work very hard to make sure human services programs work and run efficiently. Since 2011, the Montgomery County Human Services budget has been reduced by $16 million. Knowing the budget is lean and accountable, the Human Services Levy Council recommended Issue 11, which is a renewal of the current 7.21-mill levy and an increase of one mill.
It is $3 a month more per $100,000 of property to protect human services from $70 million in cuts— that represents more than half of the annual funding. Cuts of that magnitude would mean falling woefully short of meeting actual human services’ needs.
With our votes FOR Issue 11, we can continue to protect our county’s at-risk children, serve citizens with developmental disabilities, enable frail seniors to stay in their homes, provide supportive services to people looking for jobs, and help our community fight infectious diseases and drug abuse.
Between working and taking care of our families, it can feel like there is no time to make a difference in the world. So, on November 4th, we have a real opportunity. Voting FOR Issue 11 will protect services for others and for ourselves, and improve quality of life for everyone in Montgomery County.
Please join me in supporting and voting FOR Issue 11 to protect critical human services.
Submited by Bill Perry of Kettering, Ohio, Director of Brand Management at United Way of the Greater Dayton Area