Community Economic and Social Development
Historically, the masses in democracies such as the United States have held significant power especially when it comes to influencing policies. From public protests to exercising their opinions through public opinion polls and elections, the public plays a vital role in influencing the social, economic, and political policies that the powerful institutions such as corporations and government and its institutions formulate and implement. The environmental cleanup and conservation policy in my community championed for by various organizations and institutions is a classic example of policy advocacy.
The environmental cleanup and conservation was a multipronged environmental conservation policy in my community championed for by a community network. The policy was aimed at rolling back the effects of environmental pollution in my community. The policy advocacy network championed for the introduction of safe and green energy options and waste disposal and management policies. The various individuals, groups, and organizations also pushed for the closure and fining of entities that lacked proper environmental practices. It was founded on the polluter-pays principle. Moreover, the network pushed for regular environmental cleanup exercises organized and funded by local government and corporations with significant carbon footprint in my community. Therefore, they sought not only to influence energy and environmental policies; they also pushed for the implementation of safe and sustainable energy policies and the processes involved in making such policies.
The environmental policy was initiated in 2008. Various organizations, people, and entities drawn from both the public and private sectors supported the policy. The primary supporters of the policy were citizen associations and public interest groups whose lives were directly or indirectly affected by the environmental pollution. They were also joined in their advocacy by environmental organizations whose primary interest was the environmental impact associated with the forty-year-old nuclear plant. These organizations were also better placed in understanding safe and green energy alternatives that the policy sought to introduce. Their ideas and opinions were reinforced by the various environmental and sustainable development experts who conducted scientific research on the issue and added their voice to the push for the introduction of the polluter-pays principle in my community. Many parents in my community were particularly vocal in their support of the policy due to the high vulnerability levels of children to environmental pollution.
The policy had socioeconomic, health, and environmental benefits. By introducing environmental conservation initiatives, the public stood to benefit from cleaner and safer environment. The energy alternatives were not only safe but also environmentally and economically sustainable. Therefore, it was a policy aimed at protecting the health of the locals as well as preserving the environment. However, the implementation of the polluter-pays principle policy is faced with various challenges. One of the primary challenges associated with the policy is the powerful nature of the corporate sector in the community. With huge financial power, various corporations in the community with significant carbon footprints have lobbied against the policy. This has also led to reluctance among some policymakers whose political campaigns are financed by these organizations.
When effectively implemented as envisioned by the community network, the policy will improve environmental conditions and consequently healthcare sector. It will also affect the economy through the introduction of new economic opportunities as well as corporate practices. For this policy to be improved, there is need to put in place supporting environmental and economic policies. Additionally, there is need to reach out to the corporate sector and create environmental awareness in my community. Therefore, there is need to influence corporations and government institutions especially the legislative organs of the government.