Local policy action can strengthen WV communities and economies

BY TAYLOR BENNETT, COMMUNITY BASED POLICY COORDINATOR, THE HUB

Local Policy Impacts Us All

While the Legislature is in session, we focus quite a bit on the way that state level policies can impact the lives of community members. But, because they are enacted so close to home, local policies – ordinances and resolutions that are passed by city councils and county commissions – often impact our daily lives as much as, or more than, policies at the state level do.

What’s more, because the system of passing local policies is set up specifically to allow for citizens in a city or county to help drive policy decisions, we’re often able to engage much more easily on a local level than we can in the state level system.

So, if we know that local policies stand to have a huge impact on West Virginians daily lives, and we know that there is an incredible opportunity for citizens to work with their local governments to make policy change at a local level – where does that leave us?

For us, it means seeking out opportunities to partner with community members and create opportunities to make lasting local change.

The Next Generation Communities ProjectS

The Hub is teaming up with Generation WV this year to support local policy change across the state for communities who are ready to take on the challenge of creating stronger communities and economies by attracting and retaining young people.

Next Generation Communities will build relationships among community members and their local governments, forming teams that will help to drive local policy change.

These teams will receive support as they review up-to-date research on what community characteristics prompt young people to live and work in a place, identify community goals, and implement strategies for local policy action.

To connect to be a part of the Next Generation Communities Project when it officially launches, send me an email at t.bennett@wvhub.org.

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