by Adam Becker, PhD, MPH
CLOCC Executive Director
At the September 16th Quarterly Meeting we released the 2016-2020 Policy Agenda. Policy strategies are an important part of the social ecological approach to childhood obesity prevention that CLOCC has taken since its inception back in 2002. Local, state and federal policies shape the conditions that influence our ability to eat healthy and be physically active. Decisions made by legislative bodies (e.g., the Chicago City Council, the Illinois General Assembly, the U.S. Congress) and by executive branches (e.g., the Mayor’s office and city agency commissioners, the Governor’s office and directors of state agencies, the President of the United States and his cabinet) have an impact on things as diverse as the nutritional quality of school meals, the equitable investment in walkable and bike-friendly neighborhoods, the cost of produce and sugar-sweetened beverages and whether or not children are exposed to food and beverage marketing while in licensed childcare.
In 2010 CLOCC created the 2011-2015 Policy Agenda. We did this with participation from over 60 CLOCC organizational partners, our Executive Committee, and External Advisory Board and the support 30 partner organizations specifically focused on policy change. Our original agenda was based on the best available evidence about which strategies would have the greatest likelihood of reducing childhood obesity rates in Chicago and beyond. With the original agenda due to sunset at the end of this year, we engaged in a similar process to develop the 2016-2020 agenda. Building on the foundation of the first policy agenda, CLOCC staff and representatives from 13 partner organizations selected priorities for CLOCC’s policy work for the next five years. Items that were still relevant from the original agenda were revised to reflect their current status. Items that were no longer needed were deleted. A draft of the agenda was then shared with CLOCC’s Executive Committee and External Advisory Board for review, additions, and recommendations for language changes. Finally, we checked in with a number of national partner organizations that are not on our leadership groups.
The 2016-2020 agenda is a reflection of five years of policy change work in the City of Chicago and across the country, and the thinking of some of the city’s and nation’s best-known experts in childhood obesity prevention and strategies aligned with childhood obesity prevention. We at CLOCC hope that this refreshed policy agenda will continue to provide guidance and support to partners near and far who are looking for the most promising approaches to policy change that will make healthy eating and active living easy for all children and for the families and communities who nurture and protect them, ensuring they have the best opportunities for a lifetime of good health. Over the coming years we will be educating our network, providing tools and training, and issuing calls to action to mobilize CLOCC’s 3,000+ partners to help us advance these policy priorities. We look forward to working with you!
CLOCC thanks the following people and organizations for their support in developing the 2016-2020 CLOCC Policy Agenda:
- Active Transportation Alliance
- Chicago Department of Public Health
- City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development
- Cook County Health and Hospitals System
- EverThrive IL
- Greater Chicago Food Depository
- Health and Medicine Policy Research Group
- Illinois Department of Public Health
- Illinois Public Health Institute
- Illinois State Alliance of YMCAs
- Ounce of Prevention Fund
- Trust for America’s Health
- United Way of Metropolitan Chicago
Special Thanks to:
- Christine Bozlak, Assistant Professor, University at Albany, School of Public Health
- Anna Browar, CLOCC Intern and UIC Master of Public Health Student
- Department of Communications and External Affairs, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago