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Crafting Effective Policy Actions

Check out this quick refresher on policy, advocacy, and organizing for policymaking concepts. Find reflective questions to make connections to your work, so you can refine your strategies for policy change and disrupt oppressive systems that perpetuate inequity.

LEE Members are invited to dive deeper on this topic in our digital course Organizer’s Guide to Equitable Policy Change.



To craft an effective policy resolution...

Your actions must include clear and specific details about the mandates of the policy, who it affects, measurable outcomes, and the relevant timeframe.

Take a look at this example from Denver Public Schools Board Resolution 4063 (bolding added by LEE for emphasis):

SO, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: to fulfill its responsibility for undoing the systemic racism that Black children and children of color face, the Board of Education (the “Board”) directs the Superintendent, upon approval of this Resolution, to reduce the number of school resource officers in district schools by 25% by December 31, 2020, and to terminate DPS’s contract with the Denver Police Department for the services of school resources officers, and thus remove all school resource officers from DPS schools, by no later than June 4, 2021, the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

The language makes it clear who the policy affects, when, and how.


For further guidance, consult the Policy Action SMARTIE rubric (adapted from The Management Center's SMARTIE Goals Worksheet). How well does your policy action score? Make a copy of the full workbook and evaluate with your team members.


The policy is focused, distinct, and clearly defined. It is related to — but much narrower than — the fundamental problems your office seeks to solve


You can measure the issue — and a win on it — quantitatively (with numbers and data).


You can achieve a clearly defined victory on this issue.


The issue aligns with a key issue your community seeks to solve and is relevant to the focus of likely allies across policy, advocacy, organizing, and/or elected leadership roles.


You can achieve your clearly defined victory within a clearly defined time frame.


Your clearly defined victory focuses resources and support on marginalized people who face the worst impact of the issue your policy addresses.


Your policy would reduce educational injustice, oppression, burdens, or a combination thereof and achieve some measure of restitution.


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