In this episode of Making Sense of the Market with Maggie Baczkowski, we discuss fiscal and public policy with Ralph Martire, Executive Director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability (“CTBA”). Ralph and I consider the factors influencing the economic health of our city and the implications associated with past, present, and future reform efforts. From equitable education to property taxes, we dig deep to understand the state of our city.
In addition to Ralph Martire’s role as executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability (“CTBA”), he is also the Arthur Rubloff Endowed Professor of Public Policy at Roosevelt University. CTBA is a bipartisan 501(c)(3) think tank committed to ensuring that state, federal and local workforce, education, fiscal, economic and budget policies are fair and just, and promote opportunity for all, regardless of race, ethnicity or income class. During his time at CTBA, Ralph has helped obtain numerous legislative successes (including passage of the Evidence Based Model of Education Funding in FY2018, a state Earned Income Tax Credit, creation of a bipartisan legislative task force to integrate workforce and economic development policies, passage of the 2011 Temporary Tax Increases, corporate accountability legislation that, among other things, requires public reporting of economic development benefits created through receipt of tax breaks and other subsidies, decoupling Illinois tax policy from both the federal bonus depreciation rules and the federal repeal of the estate tax).
In 2018, Ralph was appointed to serve on the legislatively established “Professional Review Panel,” charged with monitoring the implementation of Illinois’ new evidence-based school funding formula. He was also appointed to the Transition Team of Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker. In 2011-2013, Ralph served as a full voting commissioner on the Congressionally-established “Equity and Excellence in Education Commission,” which was housed in the Federal Department of Education’s Civil Rights Division. The Commission completed its work with the issuance of the “For Each and Every Child” report in February of 2013. Ralph co-authored the first section of the report, which made recommendations regarding the fiscal and education funding policies required at the state and federal levels to provide an excellent education to every child.
Ralph has received numerous awards for his work on education policy reform, including: being named River Forest’s Co-Villager of the Year by the Wednesday Journal for his work promoting equity in District 90, where he serves as school board president; the 2007 Champion of Freedom Award, presented by the Rainbow PUSH Coalition to individuals whose professional work embodies Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, commitment to equal educational opportunities; and the Ben C. Hubbard Leadership Award given by Illinois State University to individuals who have greatly benefited education in Illinois. He also received the Adlai Stevenson Award for Public Service presented by the American Society for Public Administration to honor one individual with a connection to the Chicago area that has made outstanding contributions to government and public administration over an extended period of time. Ralph was elected to serve on the School Board of River Forest District 90, where he still serves as board president. He also serves on the West Cook Division Governing Board of the Illinois Association of School Boards.
In addition to his professorship at Roosevelt University, Ralph has taught fiscal policy seminars and education finance courses for various universities and the International Fulbright Scholar Program. Ralph has been featured as a tax policy expert for numerous television and radio news programs such as WTTW, the Chicago PBS affiliate, and WPWR, the Chicago NPR affiliate. He is also a regular columnist on education, fiscal, and economic policy for the State Journal Register, the Daily Herald, and The News Gazette.
Ralph served as the deputy issues director for Dawn Clark Netsch in her gubernatorial campaign, and issues director for David Wilhelm in his run for the United States Senate. He is also a former candidate for the Cook County Board. His prior appointments include serving as a member of both the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Council on Hate Crimes Prosecution and Cook County Special Task Force on Domestic Violence, and chair of the state revenue committee on the budget advisory board of Governor Blagojevich’s transition team.
Mr. Martire graduated from Indiana University Phi Beta Kappa, with a B.A. in history and received his JD from the University of Michigan.
He is married to Mary Kay Martire, and has two children, a son Nicholas, and a daughter Valerie.