What is public policy?
In general, public policy refers to a plan or course of action adopted and pursued by a government in response to a perceived societal problem. It has the power to shape our communities and affect our quality of living. For example, the vulnerability of our physical infrastructure to earthquakes poses a significant threat to public health and safety. In response, we have developed and enacted a set of public policies, including building codes and retrofit ordinances, in an attempt to address this problem. As a result, the seismic safety of our physical infrastructure has improved substantially over time.
Why is EERI involved in public policy?
EERI’s involvement in public policy stems from its mission statement: to reduce earthquake risk in part by advocating comprehensive and realistic measures for reducing the harmful effects of earthquakes. One way EERI fulfills this role is by forging consensus and speaking with a common voice to public forums and legislative bodies on behalf of the diverse risk management community. By participating in such efforts, EERI draws attention to the issues most important to its members, which include researchers, practicing professionals, educators, government officials, and building code regulators.
In addition to advocating issues on behalf of its members, EERI also pursues policies that, in general, promote earthquake research and seismic strengthening of physical infrastructure. Learn more about EERI’s mission.
Why should I get involved?
In order to successfully affect public policy, EERI needs active participation from its members to help (1) identify and study important earthquake-related problems, (2) evaluate potential solutions to determine the most appropriate one(s), and (3) support policymakers in advocating and implementing the chosen solution(s). The resulting policies have the power to not only shape our communities and affect our quality of living, but also influence the very future of our profession. Please consider sharing your valuable expertise to help EERI develop and advocate policies that will reduce earthquake risk and improve the physical foundations of our communities. Join EERI’s Public Policy and Advocacy Committee.