In a recent interview with Ada Inman for the ProGov21 podcast, Sabrina Adler, vice president of law at ChangeLab Solutions, and Maya Hazarika Watts, senior attorney at ChangeLab Solutions, discuss equitable enforcement — a process of ensuring compliance with laws or policies that considers and minimizes harms to underserved communities.
Sabrina says, “That approach means considering equity on two levels: one is the enforcement strategy broadly and, secondly, at the level of how that strategy is carried out in terms of individual enforcement actions.”
"Without equitable enforcement, a public health policy may never achieve its intended objectives."
The podcast highlights examples of enforcement that exacerbates inequities — such as underenforcement of safe drinking water policies and overenforcement of public nuisance laws. Sabrina and Maya discuss more examples and stress the importance of enforcement strategies built on community input at each stage of the policymaking process.
Maya says, “Too often, we see the passage and enactment of a policy as the win and the endpoint of the process. We are trying to draw the focus to the fact that without equitable enforcement, a public health policy may never achieve its intended objectives.”
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This month, ChangeLab Solutions’ guide Equitable Enforcement to Achieve Health Equity: An Introductory Guide for Policymakers and Practitioners is ProGov21’s featured policy.