III. Public Policy Basics

The core of the policy-making process is to address problems.  Problems like childhood obesity or food insecurity directly affect us, our clients, and the general population.  By familiarizing ourselves with this process, we can influence more than just that which affects foods available in a single school or even in an entire community or town.  We hold the ability to influence change in food policy on an even larger scale.

The underlying goal is to fight for what you think is right by presenting a compelling argument of why a policy should be implemented or revised.

Public Policy Overview:

  • Public policy involves the actions of the government and the intentions that determine those actions.  The simplest of definitions associates public policy with the principles on which social laws are based.
  • In other words, to shape public policy, a strategy is introduced to the appropriate governing body, often by a public or private organization, sometimes by an individual, to initiate a process of decision-making and analysis, which may ultimately lead to the implementation of new legislation.

  • A new piece of legislation is initially only an idea.  As this idea is nurtured and progresses, it eventually becomes a bill.  To learn more about what processes this bill must pass through to become a law, please continue to the next section.

 

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