Why Policy Matters
Public policy influences all of us on a daily basis. Policy decisions by leaders (past and present) determine how our society collects taxes, educates our kids, cares for our sick, builds new roads, and shelters our homeless. Good policies can make our lives better, such as by making our food safer to eat and our streets safer for play. In the same way, bad policies can make life harder, such as by making education harder to attain and making health care more expensive. Influencing the policy process is an important way to improve our communities.
Who Makes Policy
All too often, policies and programs are created without the participation of the individuals and families who will be affected most. Elected officials and government administrators rarely hear the concerns of struggling families before casting their votes or writing regulations. The good news is that those who do speak up for themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods often get heard by policymakers.
How to Inform Policy
Everyone has a role to play in shaping good public policy. Get to know the issues (on this website, and other websites we link to). Tell your story, as the women of Witnesses to Hunger so courageously do. Contact your elected leaders and tell them you will hold them accountable for the policy choices they make. Vote. Talk to your friends and neighbors about the issues and how they can get involved.