Public Policy Priorities

As KZCF moves into the public policy advocacy arena, we want to be intentional and deliberate about where we spend our time, energy, and resources to create the most impact, for the most important issues, without setting aside all the other important work we are doing already. To that end, we have created the following Public Policy Agenda to guide our work:


The Public Policy landscape is constantly changing. To be effective we need to have a methodology to assess and prioritize issues as they arise. We have developed an assessment rubric designed to help evaluate the extent to which a given issue aligns with our values and vision, its importance to our community and constituents, and our ability to impact the decisions being made around the issue. By allowing all members of our Public Policy Committee to complete the assessment on issues brought forward by staff, community partners, or headlines, we are able to get a broad sense of which issues require a response from KZCF and what the appropriate scope of that response should be.


We know we don’t have the resources to address every issue that is important to our community. To maximize our impact, we will focus the bulk of our advocacy activities on one large issue, working to move the needle in a significant way. Using the rubric described above, we identified universal access to High Quality Pre-K in Kalamazoo County as the issue we felt was the best focus for intensive attention, or our “Heavy Lift.” The strategies outlined below are in alignment with KZCF’s partnership with Kalamazoo County Ready 4’s (KCR4s). We will continue and expand this work based on requests received from key KCR4s leaders.


Despite focusing the bulk of our limited resources on our “heavy lift” issue, we know there are and will be other significant issues on which we can be responsive and make an impact with minimal time or energy, or as an “Advocacy Ally.” To provide guidelines for which issues are appropriate for this “light touch” KZCF action, we use the same rubric described above. The score for any given issue, in conjunction with conversation within the Public Policy Committee, allows us to identify issues that warrant action and to scale that response appropriately. For each “Advocacy Ally” issue, a KZCF issue overview sheet, including purpose and outcome statements will be drafted to guide our efforts.

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