Policy Kits

A policy kit is a series of resources organized around some proposed policy. It’s useful especially for state legislative work, where resources for researching policy are scarce but reform ideas may be shared readily across state lines. While conservatives enjoy the support of ALEC in crafting policy kits for state legislators, progressive resources in this area are comparatively weak; even organizations like the State Information Exchange which seek to offset the impact of ALEC tend to focus on legislative service rather than policy kit development. Alex Hertel-Fernandez discusses this problem in his Great Battlefield interview, at the 22:50 mark. Pete Davis describes the Democracy Policy Network’s crowd-sourcing approach to policy kit development in his Great Battlefield episode at the 38:19 mark.

Closely related to the problem of policy kits is the problem of statewide agenda setting. As a general rule progressives fail to provide a vision of what they can deliver if given “trifecta control” within a state. Such a vision can be a useful organizing tool to motivate supporters to vote for downballot progressives; it can also provide a blueprint for “Day 1” activity in a new state legislative session. Jessica Post describes how the Heritage Foundation provides such blueprints in Republican-controlled states in her Great Battlefield interview, at the 43:40 mark. Similar approaches can be used to guide governance in blue-to-purple states and in large cities. Such agendas should be coordinated with state donor tables and other interested groups, which can help to fund such agenda-setting activities.