BREAD Campaigns

Read about our work by clickiing on headings below. Check back soon, more details are forthcoming!

The Problem

  • In Franklin County, there are over 50,000 low-income families spending ½ or more of their paycheck on housing! This includes renters and homeowners. (Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio). It also includes grandparents, aunts and uncles who have stepped up, opened their houses and are raising their young relatives with little or no financial support.
  • In 2021, a worker in Franklin County needs to earn $19.83 per hour in order to afford a two-bedroom apartment (Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio).
  • In 2017, the Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio projected that meeting the housing needs of half of the 54,000 low-income families struggling to afford housing would cost $835 million.
  • Only 25% of families eligible for rental assistance receive it in Franklin County. The Columbus City Council’s tax policy incentive change for affordable housing through tax incentives to developers does not impact the most needy families. (Move to Prosper)
  • There were 18,441 eviction filings with Franklin County Municipal Court in 2015. This compares to about 12,000 in Cleveland and 22,000 in New York City (Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio). Even with the Franklin County Courts limiting evictions last Spring and despite the federal moratorium, there were over 12,000 eviction filings in Franklin County from March 2020 – March 2021.

Our Solutions

Franklin county

We pressed the Franklin County Commissioners to increase their affordable housing commitment. In 2019, they approved a resolution which would generate about $6.5 million of additional funding to affordable housing.

We want to see one-third of the American Rescue Plan dollars go to the Affordable Housing Trust, targeting families at or below 50% of the Area Median Income ($30,000 per year).

City of Columbus

  1. We want to see 30% of the American Rescue Plan dollars go to housing solutions, targeting families at or below 50% of the Area Median Income.
  2. We want Councilmember Favor to work with us on a housing plan that will require developers to set aside 20% of new housing for households making less than 50% of the Area Median Income ($30,000 per year).

The Problem

The most severe impacts of climate change are hitting our most vulnerable neighbors the hardest. Certain zip codes are more likely to suffer from the effects of flooding, poor air quality and increased heat. Through our research we learned that:

  • Of 60 major US cities, Columbus is the fastest growing and 8th largest urban heat island. Columbus can expect an additional 3-7 weeks of 90+ degree days by 2050. (Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center)
  • Columbus is getting more and heavier rain, which increases the likelihood of flooding and poses significant risks to infrastructure and public health. The number of days per year that had more than 1.25 inches of rainfall increased by 75% from 1951 to 2012. (Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center)
  • Columbus is currently ranked as the 13th worst place in the country to live with asthma, and days over 90 degrees are associated with dangerous ozone pollution levels that can trigger asthma attacks, heart attacks, and other serious health issues (Columbus Urban Forestry Master Plan).
  • Columbus has less tree coverage than cities of comparable size and development, and 70% of our existing tree canopy is on privately owned land. Communities like Franklinton (15%), Milo Grogan (16%) and South Side (18%) are well below the city average. Columbus currently lacks any protections for trees on private property, which means developers can cut down any and all trees without needing approval, and without needing to replant elsewhere. 

Image: Tree canopy coverage in Columbus compared to peer cities.

Beyond the obvious dangers posed by flooding, health experts have told us that flooding can be a major contributor to respiratory issues since mold and dust mites thrive in moist environments. These dangers are compounded by a lack of regulation on mold in homes as well as the high cost of remediation. If you are lower income, you are more likely to live close to highways, industry, and other areas with higher pollution, more pavement, and less tree coverage because they are the most affordable, all of which can trigger respiratory problems.

Our Solution: Protect our large, mature trees!

Urban forests are one of the most valuable forms of infrastructure a city can have! That is because trees absorb stormwater, filter pollutants from industries and highways, and reduce heat through shade and evaporation. Protecting our large, mature trees is critical because they can reduce summertime ambient air temperature by 20 degrees F, reduce street level air pollution by 60%, and absorb hundreds of millions of gallons of stormwater (Columbus Urban Forestry Master Plan).

Image: Table of tree canopy annual benefits in Columbus.

  • The cooling effect of one healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-sized air conditioners operating 20 hours a day (North Carolina State University 2012). The shade of properly-placed trees can save homeowners up to 58% on daytime air conditioning costs, while mobile homeowners can save up to 65% (Smith 1999) 
  • New York City saw a significant decrease of asthma in young children (-29%) after increasing its tree canopy through the installation of over 300 trees for each square kilometer (Lovasi et al. 2008).
  • Curious what the tree canopy coverage is like in your neighborhood? Find out using the Columbus Urban Forestry Master Plan’s map.

We asked city officials the following key questions:

  • Will you commit to ensuring that the (Urban Forestry Master) plan is implemented with fidelity?
  • Will you commit to ensuring that the public tree ordinance is introduced to City Council no later than February 1, 2023?
  • Will you commit to having a consultant under contract to develop a private tree protection ordinance no later than June 1, 2023?
  • Will you commit to convening quarterly meetings between BREAD, yourself, and appropriate staff so that we can discuss details of the ordinance and share our input?

BREAD is spearheading One ID Columbus, a coalition of 11 organizations pressing for a municipal ID program for the City of Columbus. We would like for this to be a city-led program; however, we’re also exploring the idea of having a local non-profit run the program instead. 

A 2019 feasibility study commissioned by the Columbus City Council estimated that over 80,000 adult citizens in Columbus struggle to obtain and retain government-issued ID. Dozens of cities across the country including New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit, and other cities have established municipal ID programs to solve this problem.

What is a municipal ID? It is a secure photo identification card designed, issued, and controlled by a local government for its residents. 

Isn’t it the case that municipal ID’s really just benefit people who can’t get driver’s licenses or state ID? 

  • Properly designed municipal ID programs can provide significant new benefits to all residents, including those who already have other forms of photo ID. Examples include consolidating transit fare payments, library borrowing privileges, access to cultural centers, and business discounts into a single multipurpose card. 
  • Municipal IDs do not give holders driving privileges, they cannot be used for air travel, and they are only accepted within the boundaries of the city that issues them (though other jurisdictions, government agencies, and companies may choose to accept them). 
  • It would not affect immigration status or provide work authorization. 

Status of our efforts: The Columbus City Council commissioned a feasibility study on the viability of a municipal ID program in 2019. The results were favorable yet the pandemic pushed the proposal to the back burner. We have been working to engage a new advocate on City Council since 2019. 

We have commitments for funding from the local Episcopal Diocese to get the program off of the ground. We are in conversations with other potential funders. 

For more information, visit:

Problem: Violent and Unfair Policing

  • In Columbus, police made 84% more total stops per resident in neighborhoods that were at least 75% black than in neighborhoods that were at least 75% white.
  • Use of force incidents by Columbus police show significant racial disparities: Black residents account for about half of use of force incidents between 2013 and 2019 even though Black residents make up only 28% of the city’s population (matrix report, commissioned by the Columbus Public Safety Commission).
  • Franklin County has one of the highest rates of fatal police shootings in the US – it ranked 18th among the 100 most populous counties (Columbus Dispatch, 3/5/21).
  • Franklin County has 1/5 of the state’s Black population, but accounts for 1/3 of deaths of African Americans shot by law enforcement in Ohio. Meanwhile Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), which is 25% Black, accounts for only 16% of African American fatally shot by law enforcement (Columbus Dispatch).
  • Over two-thirds of people killed by Columbus Division of Police officers were black, while the city is, according to the US Census Bureau, only 29% black as a whole. That means that black people are being killed by police at a rate 39 percentage points higher than would be expected by their share of the Columbus population.

Problem: Violent Crime

Our Solutions

  1. Reconciliation: BREAD has seen how use of restorative practices in schools has replaced adversarial relationships and suspensions for behavioral issues with supportive environments for students and closer teacher-student relationships. The National Network for Safe Communities and others have established trust and legitimacy between police and communities they serve through such intentional efforts for reconciliation. This will open up communication between law enforcement and the community to allow for greater understanding between them and build trust, vital to changing police culture. For more information visit:
  2. Active Bystander Training for Police – A.B.L.E., Active Bystander Training for Law Enforcement, is an evidence-based  training program for law enforcement from Georgetown U. Law School’s Innovative Policing Project. Too often, we see one police officer stand by and do nothing as his or her partner or another officer causes harm or makes a serious error. If implemented with fidelity, which includes regular follow-up, ABLE may bring about a change in police culture that supports bystander intervention. ABLE alone will not create the complete culture change needed; but if paired with other major changes, may make a difference.
  3. Reassigning Roles to Appropriate Personnel: In Eugene, Oregon, the city contracts with a mental health agency, CAHOOTS. When a 911 call involves a person with mental illness, CAHOOTS answers the call instead of the police. The contract has saved the police millions of dollars and has provided people with mental illness with treatment, instead of arrest, incarceration, or armed force. We challenge Columbus to work with us on developing models for using unarmed, trained personnel to respond to non-emergencies, including mental health and traffic stops.
  4. Group Violence Intervention: Group Violence Intervention (G.V.I.) is a “deterrence-focused” initiative to quickly and dramatically reduce gun violence and associated homicides. The initiative evolved from an initial project (Ceasefire) led by David Kennedy in Boston during the 1990’s. Although the details of implementation may vary, the basic structure involves a collaborative effort of law enforcement, social service agencies and community leaders. Together they deliver a clear message to violent street groups that violence must stop. Every initiative begins with an initial mapping of relationships of known violent offenders. Once established all partners come together to address violent groups with a unified voice through call-ins, direct contact, community outreach and media outlets delivering a message that the violence must stop. The message is followed with the promise, (the carrot) of a broad range of social services aimed at changing the behavior of criminal activity for those who opt to participate. When violence continues, however, the response is swift and strong prosecution at the federal level (the stick). For more information visit:

Want to get yourself or your congregation involved? Contact us!