Policy. (n) the rules that govern society
Policy is not limited to the government. It is found in boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies, in universities, in court rooms, school board meetings, non-profits; the list goes on. Policy encompasses all the rules of society, both explicit and implicit. And it's powerful.
Policy change is one of the most potent forces we can engage in. Universities can invest in locally-owned businesses instead of international fossil fuel companies. Businesses can set ethical policies to maximize social responsibility. Governments can craft public policies to limit health risks. The opportunities for positive change are endless and right now, change is what we need.
Unfortunately, young people don't engage in politics or policy. It is always seen as a black hole or a paralyzed system that is incapable of solving even the simplest of solutions. Fortunately, that's typically only the functioning of the federal government and its agencies; unfortunately, we don't understand that. Public policy (the policy of governments) is not solely crafted at the federal level: there are state governments, city and county governments, school boards, etc.
Local policy is the key to making lasting positive change. If Denver switched to 100% renewable energy by the year 2025, it can serve as a model for other cities around the country. The best part is that we can influence local policy far easier than we can at a national level. It's a drive up the road to meet the Mayor (who's eager to help out with the University of Denver Roosevelt Institute) and discuss with him your policy ideas.
Policy is power. DU Roosevelt works solely with policy. What are the rules of society that need to be changed? It may seem intimidating, but it's a rather simple exercise of two questions:
What are you passionate about?
What should society do different?
You could be passionate about LGBT rights and believe that there should be anti-discrimination laws in place (Colorado does have those). You could be a passionate entrepreneur and believe small businesses should be taxed at a lower rate. You could be passionate about the obesity epidemic and believe public schools should mandate exercise each day. Whatever your passion, we'll help you craft it into policy!
The most important part about DU Roosevelt is you get out into the community and work with key stakeholders (non-profits or state legislators) in helping make this policy change.
I'm so excited for the fall. More information will appear soon on our informational meeting at the beginning of Fall Quarter!
"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all else, try something." - Franklin D. Roosevelt