Current Initiatives

ChangeLab Solutions’ current projects and deliverables are aligned with our Strategic Framework and informed by our partners, funders, staff, and board. Our partners include local, state, and federal levels of government; community-based organizations; anchor institutions; and academia. Our Blueprint for Changemakers presents the foundational strategies of our organization: addressing the fundamental drivers of health inequity, partnering with community members who have been most affected by inequities, and promoting health in all policies and the power of local solutions. Through 2025, we are taking the following actions: 

Design and deliver legal and policy tools and technical assistance

We actively support equitable design, implementation, and enforcement of laws, policies, and public health interventions. Using the frameworks in the Blueprint for Changemakers, we are developing community-centered, evidence-based law and policy guides that provide concrete solutions, strategies, and model policies. Examples include:

  • Developing a much-needed guide to proactive rental inspections to support renters and preserve affordable housing by providing best practices for jurisdictions
  • Offering a suite of resources to help policymakers incorporate equitable enforcement principles and practices into their work to ensure compliance with law and policy that minimizes harms to people affected by health inequities
  • Creating a Vision Zero model resolution and implementation guide to support local governments and advocates to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries, through community engagement, data collection and analysis efforts, and creating an action plan to achieve safety for people using all modes of transportation
  • Supporting equitable community planning by building the skills, knowledge, and resources needed for government staff, elected officials, planners, and advocates to center communities in the planning and built environment processes

Preserve and protect local public health and equity solutions

We seek to preserve local government and public health officials’ full range of options to govern in ways that promote health and equity. Counteracting preemptive legislation that creates barriers to health equity has been a central part of our legal work. State-level preemption is used to impede local efforts to advance health- and equity-promoting policies such as inclusionary housing, minimum wage, paid leave, and taxes of sugary drinks. We are developing and delivering legal tools and participating in legal strategies such as amicus briefs and litigation support for local action. Examples include:

  • Coordinating litigation and amicus briefs to challenge a harmful California law that penalizes localities for enacting taxes on sugary drinks
  • Working with our public health law partners in the newly created advocacy forum Act for Public Health to create a legal and policy framework for equitable public health authority
  • Supporting local health departments by providing legal analysis, technical assistance, and tools and resources
  • Providing ongoing technical assistance and training to help changemakers better understand the role of preemption in constraining local control

Develop an equity-minded workforce of changemakers

This work centers on preparing current and future public health practitioners to tackle today’s public health challenges through laws and policies with an equity mindset. Through our partnership with organizations such as the Public Health Law Program within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and BUILD Health Challenge, we have the potential to reach all state, tribal, territorial, and local health departments across the nation. Examples include:

  • Providing a wide variety of free web-based Public Health Law Academy trainings to help public health practitioners understand the intersection of public health and law on topics such as preemption, social determinants of health, and overdose prevention.
  • Creating a new public health law fellowship for master’s level students and recent graduates to increase viability of public health law, increase the pipeline of public health workers who understand public health law, and improve health departments’ legal capacity
  • Launching a new legal epidemiology learning cohort to help public health practitioners learn how to measure law and policy and its impacts
  • Supporting and expanding public health law curricula into public health degree programs through our public health law certificate program

Facilitate cross-sector partnerships to address health equity

We convene and connect partners in different sectors and disciplines to address policy and legal barriers in innovative and intersectional ways. Addressing complex population health issues requires collaboration, understanding, and trust. We successfully convene cross-sector cohorts and produce online learning series to advance connection and community for change. Examples include:

  • Equity in Action webinar series features partners, funders, and changemakers to learn from each other, and share successes and best practices. In this series, different sectors convene to discuss rural health, equitable enforcement, fair labor practices, and housing equity.
  • Coordinating the fourth BUILD Health Challenge national cohort of cross-sectoral teams in local communities to address health equity and policy issues
  • Continuing to mentor cross-sector teams in our Housing Solutions Collaborative to create equitable housing solutions through legal research and analysis, and examining opportunities to inform housing laws
  • Assisting the National League of Cities’ Healthy Housing Local Action Challenge through partnership and peer learning to improve health housing policies, programs, and practices

Create interdisciplinary and innovative legal and policy solutions

Our team members use their interdisciplinary perspectives and training to address complex public health challenges through innovative legal and policy solutions. We develop solutions that address a unique set of challenges and/or affect a specific geographic region, population, or community. Examples include:

  • Collaborating with scholars, advocates, and policymakers of the Health Justice Initiative on innovative policy strategies to address structural and social determinants of health
  • Applying a health justice framework to issues around environmental health and the childcare sector
  • Advancing equity through food systems research and development of policy strategies
  • Partnering with CDC and the National Alliance for Hispanic Health to advance paid leave policies as an upstream approach to cancer prevention
  • Developing policy briefs and resources that identify approaches to improving children’s mental health by identifying solutions to create a more robust mental health workforce

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