What is Public Policy?
Getting scholars to agree on a single, all-inclusive definition of public policy is no easy task.
Broadly, we might say that a public policy is simply what government (any public official who influences or determines public policy, including school officials, city council members, county supervisors, etc.) does or does not do about a problem that comes before them for consideration and possible action.
Specifically, public policy has a number of key attributes:
No doubt, there are many problems in our communities that need to be solved. Some problems may readily be dealt with by actions taken in the private sphere (individuals and families) or by our civil society (social, economic, or political associations or organizations).
Public policy problems are those that must be addressed by laws and regulations adopted by government. Your first task in ProCitizen is to firmly establish that the problem you want to work on is, in fact, one which requires government involvement to reach a solution.
Note: This material is adapted from An Introduction to the Policy Process, by Thomas A. Birkland (2011, M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, NY)