Public policy shapes everything in our daily lives from where we park to how programs are implemented. UAH works to influence public policy on the state administrative level, the state legislative level, and the federal level.
Policies that govern how programs are delivered are often shaped on the state administrative level. For example: when the Department of Workforce Services decides to implement policies that will change how customers access the Food Stamp Program they make those changes administratively instead of through the legislative process. Administrators work with advocates through meetings, seeking feedback on how low-income Utahns will be impacted by changes.
The rulemaking process is an important tool in how laws are implemented. Rulemaking is a public process that requires state agencies to publish programs and changes to laws in the Utah State Bulletin. This process is an opportunity for the public and other interested parties to submit public comment about proposed changes. Comments can be submitted either through written comment or in a public hearing often requested by an interested individual or organization. You can find out more about the rulemaking process here: http://www.rules.utah.gov/
Municipal: Utahns Against Hunger sits on the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Food Policy Task Force and advises the Mayor and City Council. We are working to identify policy and program opportunities which will improve access to more fresh and nutritious food for all Salt Lake residents. The Task Force is also working to identify opportunities to expand urban farming, preserve open space, and empower residents to live more sustainably. To learn more, visit the Food Policy Task Force page.
State: Utahns Against Hunger works on the legislative level to influence legislation and funding that impacts low-income programs. Staff work directly with state legislators to educate them on how introduced bills will impact programs and their constituents. UAH also advocates for funding for emergency food pantries and food banks.
The Utah State Legislative website is a great resource to learn more: http://le.utah.gov/
Federal: Utahns Against Hunger works to educate Utah’s Congressional delegation about bills being considered on the federal level. We spend time educating Utah’s senators, representatives, and their staffs about the impact of federal anti-poverty programs’ impact their constituents.
For the less erudite here’s another story of how a bill becomes a law: