Getting Started with Policy Change

Ready to be an agent of change in your community? The guidance, tools, and examples you find here will help you get started with policy change and ensure your efforts are grounded in equity.
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Across the country, people are working to transform their communities into places where everyone has the opportunity to live their healthiest life. To deepen their impact and create lasting change, many groups want to expand their efforts to include policy change methods. But how do you start?

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What is Policy?

Building a culture of health involves many approaches and strategies. Policy change is one approach and can be implemented in both the public and private sectors. Policy refers to laws, regulations, and decisions that are undertaken to achieve specific goals and has broad-reaching effects.

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Why Does Policy Change Matter?

Policy changes are key to transforming health in communities. Policies can make the healthy choice the easy choice, make the most of available resources, and ensure that efforts will be sustainable and equitable.

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Two youth at a meeting of the San Pablo Youth Commission.

How Do We Change Policy?

Every successful policy change effort begins with a clear, compelling, and attainable goal. A well-developed policy advocacy campaign helps rally community support, provides the rationale to persuade decision-makers to act, and ensures the changes are effectively implemented and enforced.

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