Advocating for Public Health Policy
Imagine that you have been chosen to represent a public health advocacy group as they begin a campaign to get legislation related to a health issue passed in your state legislature. You have been tasked with the role of presenting a proposed policy to the legislature and advocating that the legislature vote for the policy. You have been told that you will have 10 minutes to present to the legislature. Your presentation should be informative, but also persuasive. The legislature will need to make a decision about whether or not to vote for the policy based on your presentation. Your presentation should be structured exactly as if you were “live” in front of the legislature advocating for them to adopt the policy you are proposing.
For your assignment, you will need to select a public health topic of interest to you (you are encouraged to choose one related to your academic major or intended field of work) and a public health policy related to addressing the topic. You may select an actual proposed policy or create one that you think would effectively address the topic. Your presentation should provide enough information about the topic and the proposed policy that a reasonably educated legislator should be able to make an informed decision. Be sure to consider the various questions that a legislator might have about the issue and proposed policy, such as long-term costs and benefits, potential effects on business and industry (especially those that support politicians’ campaigns), and how the policy will support the health and productivity of state residents.
For this assignment, you should create an approximately 10 minute presentation* that addresses each of the following points:
- Discuss the public health issue that your proposed policy is intended to address. Questions to consider:
- Who does this health issue affect?
- What is the impact of this health issue on the community?
- Why does this health issue need to be addressed?
- Explain the proposed public health policy. Questions to consider:
- Who will be affected by this policy?
- How will this policy address the health issue?
- What will change by enacting this policy?
- Evaluate the impacts of the proposed policy. Questions to consider:
- What are the costs and benefits of the policy?
- What are the risks of enacting or not enacting the policy?
- How will the lives of people who are affected by the health issue change if this policy is enacted?
- Create an influential presentation that affects voting behaviors of legislators. Questions to consider:
- What information about this policy would potentially affect the voting behavior of legislators from across the political spectrum (eg. conservative, moderate, liberal, progressive; particularly those who might not support the policy based on political orientation)?
- What are the most important messages that legislators need to hear about this policy?
- How would the constituents of the legislators voting for this policy feel about this policy and a legislator who votes for it?
- What information would a legislator need to “sell” the policy to consitutents who were perhaps not in favor of adopting the policy?
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