Make a Proposal:
Be Part of the Our Children, Our Future Campaign
Got an idea for fighting poverty in WV? We’re searching for smart, innovative thinkers who have got real solutions to the biggest problems facing our state. Send in your idea and be part of the largest community-based policy advocacy campaign in West Virginia.
To be part of our team, you’ll have to 1) organize a team to come together around an issue, 2) form a concrete policy proposal, and 3) present that proposal to lawmakers and stakeholders at our 2015 Our Children, Our Future Policy of the People Symposium.
Are you up to the challenge?
This process is part of the Our Children, Our Future Campaign – an alliance of community organizations, congregations, unions, chambers of commerce, and other allies – committed to ending child poverty in West Virginia. Every year, we select a handful of policy issues to advance at the state level, and we think the best policy ideas come from everyday people like you – community leaders, parents, and advocates.
In less than 3 years, we have worked together to turn 18 proposals into concrete policy change. We know how to turn good ideas into reality. As we look to 2016, we are again looking for great policy proposals. What’s your big idea?
Note: your policy proposal does not have to be a new idea.
Here’s how it works:
PROCESS AND DEADLINES:
- Identify a policy proposal and convene a team to complete this proposal application.
DEADLINE: JUNE 15 2015
- Meet with one of our Policy Experts to help you begin strategizing.
JUNE 1 – JULY 10 2015
- Present your proposal at one or more of our Regional Policy Workshops from July 22 – Aug. 17
4 Locations & Dates: Davis (July 22); Beckley (Youth Workshop – Aug. 3); Huntington (Aug. 11); Weirton (Aug. 17)
- Lead a panel discussion on your proposal at the Policy Symposium
SEPTEMBER 14 2015
- Get your policy voted onto the Our Children Our Future (OCOF) 2016 Policy Platform (optional)
- If your policy is voted onto the Platform, work with the OCOF steering committee and staff to provide information on your proposals and move forward your strategy, including participating in community meetings, lobbying during interims and the session, and drafting materials on your issue.
OCTOBER 2015 – MARCH 2016
Summer Policy Workshops:
Policy Workshops are held in different locations across the state during the summer of each year. These day-long Workshops provide an opportunity for local community members to get involved in the conversations around state policy creation, and to participate in groups crafting policy proposals. Additionally, the Workshops serve as a space for policy proposal co-chairs to put together a strategy for moving their policy proposal forward, to receive training in effective policy advocacy, to meet with local legislators and discuss their proposals, and to build a team for their issue for the fall interims and upcoming legislative session. This team will continue to work together over the next 8 months to advocate for the proposal during the 2016 Legislative Session.
Annual Policy Symposium:
The Annual Policy Symposium brings all the policy proposal teams together during a two-day conference where co-chairs lead panel presentations on their issue to a larger statewide audience. Each panel is expected to consist of a person/family affected, lawmaker, advocate, and unlikely ally. The panel is designed to provide background on the basics of and need for the policy as a way of opening discussion on how to make the policy a reality. At the end of the panel, it is our hope that co-chairs walk away with a strong task-oriented team, legislative allies prepared to move forward their legislation, and a six-month plan to get their policy passed during the 2016 legislative session..
Platform Ballot & Vote
Each year the Our Children Our Future Campaign chooses 10 issues to work on for the upcoming legislative session through an open statewide vote. In order for proposals to be put on the ballot for the platform vote, proposal co-chairs must participate in at least one regional policy workshop and the Policy Symposium. While teams must participate in these events to be put on the ballot, policy issue teams that participate in the regional policy workshops and the Policy Symposium are not mandated to put their issue on the platform. The ballot will be created in early September following the policy workshops and the vote will take place later that month.
If your issue is chosen as one of the Top 10 platform issues, you will receive the full backing of the Our Children, Our Future Campaign. You will still be the leader on your issue, but we will give you the opportunity to raise the profile of your issue: by creating a platform for you and your team at our dozen regional forums, giving you access to our e-mail action alert system, and highlighting your issue at our two big lobby days at the Capitol. You will also have the personal support of our lobbyist during the session.
YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS CO-CHAIRS
Each strategy session should have at least two co-chairs, and ideally co-chairs should include at least one family representative and one advocate. Co-Chairs are responsible for the following:
- Researching and presenting at least 1 bold, concrete policy solution at the Policy Workshops and the Symposium
- These are not meant to be broad brainstorm sessions, but rather presentations of actual proposals that can be workshopped, improved upon, and strategized
- Policy solutions do not have to be a new idea
- Creating a strong, diverse list of stakeholder invites for their Symposium that includes lawmakers, advocates, and people affected by the issue
- Designing a policy proposal pitch for at least one Regional Policy Workshop and designing and facilitating an agenda for their Symposium Panel
- Authoring a brief 1-2 page report on their issue for presentation at their Symposium Panel
- Participating in education efforts with legislators
- Providing information and support on their issue(s) to OCOF organizers for community meetings
THE RESOURCES YOU GET AS CO-CHAIRS:
Policy Experts. We have a team of policy experts available to provide coaching to teams. These experts will help you think through your proposal, refine your application, and prepare for your presentations at the Workshops and Symposium. Experts are available to talk with you at any point as questions arise throughout the process. Each issue team will be assigned a policy expert once their application is received.
Strategic Consultation. Each group is required to meet once with a Policy Expert for a Strategic Consultation between June 1 and July 10. You will be contacted to schedule a date for the consultation once your application is submitted. The consultations will last for an hour and can be done over the phone. During the consultation, you will talk with a Policy Expert about your application, begin to craft a strategy, identify potential team members and prepare for the Regional Workshop.
Policy Workshops. The Policy Workshops serve as an opportunity to expand the team working on your issue, clarify, and refine your proposal, and begin to draft a strategic plan to move your policy forward during the 2015 fall interims and 2016 legislative session. Co-chairs should work to prepare a 2-3 minute pitch on their proposal and to identify a list of invitees they want to participate in their strategic planning session during the Workshop.
Send completed applications to OCOFpolicyproposals@gmail.com by June 15th. Apply online!