May 17, 2012
Our 2011 Annual Report is out.In addition to the essential information about the Citizens League's activities and finances, the report also tells the story of our civic policy making model - the approach that makes the Citizens League unique - through our Pathways to Prosperity project. If you've ever wanted to better understand or explain what's unique about the Citizens League's approach, take a look. Here's an excerpt:
What do we mean by "policy happens everywhere?" The word policy is a stumbling block. Most of us think of policy as a set of guidelines or rules adopted to direct people's behavior. Policy makers, therefore, are people in positions of authority in an organization or government who have some influence over policy. Add the word public in front of policy and our minds jump to local, state and federal lawmakers. The Citizens League takes a broader view. Public policy arises from individual decisions. Because too many pedestrians, for example, were getting hurt or killed, state law requires cars to yield to pedestrians. But the law doesn't stop pedestrians from getting hit by cars. Personal safety still boils down to individual choices. Cross the street or not? Accelerate or brake? Personal behavior shaped public policy, which is now shaping personal behavior. Multiply this across the vast array of public policies that exist to discourage theft and encourage charity. To discourage embezzlement and encourage investment. To get an education. Own a home. Wear your seatbelt. Etc. In every case, the policy was a reaction to some perceived need. But the policy isn't the end result. The result - like the pedestrian in the crosswalk - is what we as individuals and organizations do in our daily lives.A big thanks to board member Tom Teigen for his help writing, editing and coordinating the publication of this year's annual report.
Posted by lschumacher at May 17, 2012 2:24 PM