Excerpt from the 2016 HEP Policy Strategies Summary
Participants identified a need to develop more inclusive and participatory processes where community members can actively engage with decision makers and review and inform policies. Participants recommended a separate individual entity comprised of individuals’ representative of our communities be established to vet policies before they are passed and implemented. The community boards would serve as systems thinkers, setting standards for policy using an equity lens. For indigenous communities, it is fundamental to use core values on these boards to build consensus. Participants recommended having community boards at every decision making level which are selected by the community. However, there must be fair and equal representation on the boards and barriers to participation must be removed. For, example, establishing a fund so everyday folks could serve in this role. For example, a mother who needs to pay for child care when she is vetting policies could utilize the fund for this purpose.