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There are many systems of policy making that are studied in public administration; there are many ad hoc methods of policy making that come up in the act of public administration; what persists throughout these practices is that the the method for evaluating the value of a policy or program against its cost does not have a human, community centered, input that prioritizes social impact over financial benefit.

Let's look at housing for example. When affordable housing is being constructed and organizations work to stretch their public dollars they are incentivized to not build higher than four stories, and not include ground level commercial space, because those components trigger a requirement to pay the construction crew a "prevailing wage."

This type of policy not only makes development decisions grounded in cost benefit instead of what the community needs, but it also holds back the economic benefit to the workers involved in bringing the project to fruition.

We have an opportunity to throw out our old way of policy making along with our old form of city government. Our new council can prioritize policy that uses the social benefits over cost savings.


One case study for what human centered policy making might look like in action comes from a D.C. based non-profit, SOME. They call the model their Social Return on InvestmentIt is a way of turning the qualitative impacts that services have on the community into quantitative data that allows us to use impact as a metric in our policy decision making.

I often hear the tagline that the City is responsible for infrastructure, and the County is responsible for the people. This ideology is a perfect example of how old-guard government neglects to value the community in its decisions.

The importance of establishing social investment as a pillar to policy making in our new government structure is critical, and a fundamental value of my campaign and vision for the future of our city and its governance.

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