The mission of the Intergovernmental Relations & Policy Development Office is to promote a strong, effective advocacy voice and presence for public health policy at all levels of government, and to accomplish BPHC strategies for good health and health equity through laws and regulations. We believe that staff, clients, and community members should have the skills and opportunities to participate meaningfully in the policymaking process and work for policy changes that benefit the health of residents, especially the most vulnerable.
WHAT WE DO
- Track information on heath policy and major priority issues
- Advocate to improve public health through laws, regulations and public budgets at the local, state and federal level
- Support programs to develop policy priorities and advocate for them
- Provide training and support for staff, clients/constituents, and community partners to develop advocacy skills to speak up for issues they care about
- Coordinate Voting for Health, to educate and mobilize voters to support neighborhood health
Priority State Legislation for the 2015-2016 Session
- H1806: An Act Relative to Diversion to Substance Abuse Treatment (Malia)
- H2049: An Act Relative to Lead Abatement (Sanchez)
- HB2398/S1429: An Act Relative to Surviving Family Members of Public Emergency Medical Technicians (Ryan/Rush)
VOTING FOR HEALTH
The Commission has a strong commitment to supporting the involvement of all Boston residents in shaping policies that affect their lives. During important election seasons, our non-partisan Voting for Health initiative aims to increase voter awareness and turnout among staff, clients, and other city residents.
HEALTH IMPACT ASSESSMENTS
HIA is an internationally-recognized tool to evaluate the impacts of a proposed project or policy change on the health of impacted populations and an opportunity to apply a Health in All Policies (HiAP) lens to decision-making processes.
BPHC completed a development-oriented HIA in 2012 on a large development project located at 35 Northampton Square in Roxbury. We have also participated on numerous advisory boards for HIAs that have been completed in Boston.
In October 2014, BPHC received a grant from the Health Impact Project to conduct a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of proposed updates to the City of Boston’s Living Wage Ordinance. The Living Wage Ordinance, which was first passed in 1998, requires city-contracted employers to pay at least $13.89 per hour. The goal of our HIA is to inform public debate about how the proposed changes to enforce and expand the ordinance might affect the health of low income workers. Throughout the 18-month HIA process, BPHC will convene an advisory board made up of relevant city agencies and those representing low wage workers, employers and other impacted stakeholders, conduct community meetings, focus groups and interviews, analyze data, develop recommendations and communicate findings.
Beyond impacting changes to the ordinance, we hope the HIA will inform future debates on the links between economic policy and the health of the city’s low income residents and neighborhoods and build stronger connections between efforts to build health equity and economic justice in the city.
This project is supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts, with funding from the de Beaumont Foundation.