Now in its third year, MVOC leveraged the initial success of the vacant property program to advocate for local, state, and national policy changes that will benefit blighted neighborhoods in older industrial cities. In 2011, MVOC successfully advocated for establishment of Land Banks in Trumbull and Mahoning counties; released comprehensive Vacant Property surveys with policy recommendations for Youngstown and Warren; won reform of a City of Youngstown Code Enforcement process and creation of a City Division of Inspection; won passage of Youngstown Vacant Property Registration Ordinance and coordination with Rental Property Registration; and partnered with the City of Warren on a Strategic Demolition policy; led the Showdown in Ohio with NPA and 800 residents challenging banks to be accountable to foreclosed and abandoned properties.
Trumbull County is home to nearly half of all "recreational" massage parlors in Ohio, a state that has been identified as a source, transit, and destination for trafficked victims. In 2011, MVOC leaders launched a campaign with local and statewide ambitions to address this serious issue. This year, the campaign achieved the commitment of over 25 legislative officials to fight human trafficking in the Mahoning Valley with updated, prudent legislation; held a justice Revival with nearly 500 residents headlined by Rev. Jim Wallis, calling for the protection of our most vulnerable residents; successfully advocated for the return of the Statewide Commission on Human Trafficking and placement of a key local leader on that commission; developed legislation regulating recreational massage parlors that passed City Councils in both Warren and Niles; and created the Mahoning Valley Rescue and Restore Coalition, a social services roundtable engaging 14 regional nonprofit agencies.
MVOC has continued to engage residents around issues including access to healthy foods and the racial and social determinants of health. In 2011, MVOC established the Mahoning Valley Food Policy Council and passed food charter legislation in Warren and Youngstown City Councils; and refined the community agreement and advocated for policies that would improve the health and outreach of neighborhood stores.
Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid have come under serious attack, putting Ohio's children, disabled, and senior residents at risk. MVOC joined national and statewide partners to protect these vital programs in 2011 - MVOC hosted a town hall meeting with 200 residents, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, U.S. Representative Tim Ryan, and Ohio Senator Capri Cafaro to advocate for state and federal legislation supporting our families and seniors; and involved over 60 residents in direct actions designed to raise awareness and provide information about the importance of these programs.
At the heart of each MVOC campaign is the development of local leaders. Training occurs through direct campaign involvement and subsidized formal training in basic and advanced organizing concepts. In 2011, over 25 leaders participated in weeklong organizing training in Columbus, for a total of 100 local leaders trained since 2009; MVOC organizers led 20 one-day trainings around campaigns and general organizing topics - over 300 leaders were engaged in 2011, for a total of over 750 leaders trained since 2009; and as fiscal agent, MVOC continued to assist local groups in the application for and disbursement of SUCCESS grant funding - 21 groups were served in 2011, for a total of 43 groups since 2009.
Voter engagement is a vital component of our organizational strategy. Throughout the year, MVOC educates residents about the issues, runs voter registration drives, and provides transportation to the polls. In 2011, eight canvassers and ten phone bankers knocked on 5,000 doors and made 6,000 phone calls in the three weeks preceding the November general election.