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Tis the Season - The Policy-Making Season

Written by Arlinda McKeen December 15, 2014

The most exciting season of the year is upon us here at SPPG. It's a time of reflection, renewing dormant friendships, making resolutions, making lists, and participating in reception after reception. Yes, it's Policy-Making Season!! For those dark months when hibernation seems like an appealing alternative to many, elected officials and anyone who has an interest in an issue swarm around Des Moines-area gathering places and the State Capitol. They continue the meeting, greeting, and eating until the lilacs begin to bloom. Along the way, public policy begins to bloom as well.

Every two years, a significant proportion of the elected officials are new at their job – and admit to spending the first few weeks a bit awestruck at the complexity and responsibility of the job they worked so hard to win. This is one of those years. The rest of us seek to take them under our wing, help introduce them to our issues, and welcome them to the Policy-Making Season. It's not long until they find their niche and begin to deliberately move the policy making forward.

The rest of the folks know their way around, and that is a good thing. Particularly in public policy, having some institutional memory, historical perspective, and knowing how a bill really becomes a law is pretty darn important! Combine that with the fresh perspectives of the newcomers, and Iowa has a good opportunity for making progress.

SPPG sees the opportunity in every Policy-Making Season. We're not just talking about with legislators or the Governor. It is all elected officials, staff, constituents, advocates, stakeholders, and lobbyists. Each has an important role in the Policy-Making Season, and in what emerges in the spring.

Some years ago, SPPG stepped back from the traditional lobbying model. Instead, we maintain a strong public policy focus and represent clients and issues through policy monitoring, informing, and advising our clients' own advocacy year-round. We support advocates, stakeholders, and constituents in framing their messages and identifying the best opportunities for them to be heard.

In our public policy work, SPPG finds our purpose – in making sure those who are affected by a public policy have an opportunity to effectively shape that impact. The 2015 Policy-Making Season is in full swing, and we are there!

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