Summer 2022 Newsletter

Demystifying law & policy

In my work on systems change, I have learned that the challenges we encounter in public health can be catalysts for innovation in advancing health equity.

Despite preemptive laws that are rolling back public health authority across the country and increasing restrictions on localities’ ability to create equity-promoting policies, I am continually inspired and energized by you — my creative and determined colleagues who are pushing the boundaries of equitable policymaking to strengthen the public’s health.

I’m excited to share with you how we at ChangeLab Solutions have been collaborating to demystify law and policy and build policy solutions that promote health for all community members. Keep reading to learn about our recent projects, from protecting housing justice at the local level to supporting training on public health messaging — and more.

As always, please feel free to connect with me if you have questions or inquiries.

In solidarity,

Sarah de Guia, JD
CEO, ChangeLab Solutions


Housing Solutions in Action

Housing Solutions Collaborative

Read two stories from the Housing Solutions Collaborative (HSC), a peer-learning cohort of eight teams who are building partnerships and knowledge to advance housing equity in their communities. Over the past year, teams have made progress on issues from zoning and affordable housing production to emergency rental assistance and anti-displacement policies; read about their achievements and the lessons they’ve learned from participating in the cohort.


Public Health Messaging Guidance

BMSG and RLL Logos

In numerous states, the essential work of public health is under attack through legislation or lawsuits. To defend and protect the role of public health in our society, public health practitioners, researchers, and supporters must effectively communicate about the importance of well-resourced public health infrastructure. To that end, Act for Public Health sponsored a training from Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG) and Real Language that offered framing and communication recommendations to help public health advocates develop and deliver messages on the significance of public health as well as counteract legislation that would undermine public health authority.


5 Steps to Strengthen Public Health Authority


In a new piece in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Blog, Sarah de Guia, CEO of ChangeLab Solutions, and Monica Hobbs Vinluan, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, answer the questions, “What happens when elected officials use preemption to usurp public health authority, and what can be done about it?” They offer five steps that can be taken to strengthen public health authority and advance health equity.


New Training for Public Health Professionals

Admin law 3 - feature

The final installment of our three-part training series on administrative law explains best practices for health departments in issuing permits and licenses, conducting investigations and inspections, and enforcing public health laws. Created by ChangeLab Solutions and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this free, on-demand training explores how health departments can engage community members and promote health equity while carrying out these regulatory activities. Before diving into this last training, explore our full administrative law series.


Overturning California’s Sugary Drink Tax Ban

Bottles of sugary drinks in a row.

Our lawsuit challenging California’s industry-backed law banning new local sugary drink taxes overcame its first hurdle when the Sacramento County Superior Court ruled in our favor — but the case is currently on appeal and there are more hurdles to come. This lawsuit is an example of the work we do with unrestricted funds; your donation will support our efforts to fight the appeal.