Research, Development, Legislation
The Commonwealth Policy Coalition launched its first chapter in 2020 with a single mission: form an innovative, practical, and groundbreaking policy development service for the welfare of the Commonwealth of Kentucky that empowers future leaders. Within our first two years CPC was recognized as a solution-finding partner to the Kentucky State Legislature though a bicameral resolution adopted in each chamber, and legislators introduced the first three bills designed from the faculty-partnered work of our members into the General Assembly. The university chapters of CPC are now organized under an alumni + faculty board with a statewide focus to expand new chapters and create new certified Fellows from each.
Our Mission & Impact
Our mission is to operate as a think-tank that translates research from our university-based chapters into real-world legislative solutions. Through that process, our aim is to bring forward “the Future of the Commonwealth, For the Commonwealth."
Focus & Process
CPC is not a typical think tank and neither are our Fellows; our design is a "think-and-do-tank", to not only design tailored solutions but also implement them as legislation. Our focus is to research the independent policy ideas of our Fellows, then take them outside of the university & theoretical research sphere and develop them in the real world with legislators and partners.
We do this by training members through our university chapters to become certified Fellows for public policy research and advocacy, then though joining or creating policy centers with faculty and/or postgraduates, our members engage external stakeholders and legislators to develop & introduce new non-partisan legislation to the General Assembly to address issues of concern in Kentucky. In some cases this work may translate to more local-level legislation.
The process of developing Kentucky-based solutions is often meticulous and ranges from 1 to 3 years, all proposals are peer-reviewed by CPC's advisory board including any faculty for the policy center and CPC alumni. This includes a discretionary review for general non-partisanship. This process may create entirely novel legislation, or new design of prior legislation on a non-partisan issue which has not passed.
Our of this work, our policy centers also identify potential "trickle up" solutions to the federal level. These initial trickle-up solutions are rapidly developed into a single federal policy proposal within 10 days, through CPC's annual Congressional Summit. This summit engages with Kentucky's Congressional Delegation and staff, Congressional offices of other states facing similar issues who sit on relevant committees, committee staff, federal agency experts in the executive branch, and national policy-focused groups headquartered in the Washington D.C. area.
After creating solutions through the policy process, our Fellows publish briefs in the Commonwealth Policy Papers housed by the University of Louisville's Institutional Respository. These publications include short policy briefs or pamphles, longer in-depth white papers, and actual legislation-ready text. These publications lay the contours for local to federal-level legislation, for the Commonwealth or abroad, based on the solutions developed in our policy centers.
After completing training and certain milestones from this process, our members who join as Associates can tailor their involvement in order to be certified as an Associate Fellow member of a policy center engaging multiple levels of government, a Fellow having done the same while serving as a primary author of original work, or Senior Fellow from having led a policy center team at multiple levels of government and published the work, in addition to serving as a chapter officer. These are professional certifications from the University Chapter which are verified by university faculty who represent the department where the chapter is sponsored. Members who are certified as Associate Fellows are deemed independently qualified for public-service in partnership with policy-making bodies, Fellows are deemed independently qualified for the same as well as leadership in legislative research, development, and advocacy. CPC can also verify these certifications to future employers, Fellows and Senior Fellows are also invited to serve alongside faculty on CPC's statewide advisory board. Advisory board members may also engage in independent work or freely apply for grant funding as Fellows.
This and certification provide a life-long opportunity and community.
Currently, we have one established chapter at the University of Louisville. However, we invite students or faculty from other Kentucky research universities to use our existing model to establish a chapter at your school. If interested in joining a chapter or founding a new one at your university, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Advisory Board
The role of the advisory board is to establish training curriculum and standards for Fellow programs, certify Associate and Fellow certificates with the chapter, assist in creation of new chapters, and review policies to make recommendations that ensure nonpartisanship, with further involvement optional including application for grants and statewide internal development. Term-appointed board members include executive directors and directors of operations for each of our chapters, which are selected through chapter-only elections. All Fellow alumni who have served as an officer or are considered Senior Fellow alumni are invited to serve on the board.
Support Our Mission
CPC’s chapters are in consistent need of assistance to be able to afford the logistics that come with running a nonprofit think-tank and making truly independent policy. Although our advisory board or chapters do not have 501(c) status at this time, if you would like to support our mission of bringing the future of the Commonwealth for the Commonwealth financially or in another way, contact us at email@example.com.