In May, the Mackinac Center had the pleasure of hosting Sylvie Légère, president and co-founder of The Policy Circle. This network of local groups offers women a way to connect through engaging in policy discussions that encourage human creativity in a free-market economy. Currently, The Policy Circle is made up of 252 circles across 38 states.
The idea is simple. Two or three women who are interested in discussing policy form a small group known as a circle. A circle can be big or small. The goal is for it to grow organically, but it is often made up of women with a variety of life experiences who may or may not know each other personally. Once a group is created, its participants meet in person for a roundtable discussion. The policy briefs they receive beforehand provide background information about the gathering’s topic and cover education, poverty, taxation, economic growth or another issue.
When people talk about government, they usually focus on what politicians or political parties are doing. Unless you have a strong interest in public policy or work in the policy world, you usually don’t have a chance to learn about or engage in policy issues that affect your life. Through its local groups, The Policy Circle gives women the opportunities and resources needed to engage in discussions on national policies from a free-market approach.
Having a discussion in someone’s living room is useful in itself, but many participants take their interest beyond that. Through discussions about policies on the national level, some members are inspired to learn more about how policies work at the state level. If they are interested, they can turn to the Mackinac Center and other state-based groups to find out how those policies are affecting their everyday lives. Discussing policy can also cause a person to educate others and cause them to be involved. Participants in policy circles raise awareness about different policies through sharing an article on social media, discussing a piece of legislation with a neighbor, or becoming a part of a group like Opportunity Michigan.
The possibilities for an engaged citizenry are endless. The Policy Circle offers a safe and empowering space for women to become involved. Through open dialogue, women can be equipped with the tools they need to make a difference.
Learn more about the Policy Circle by visiting www.thepolicycircle.org