A letter from the founder:
Thanks for stopping here to take a look - we appreciate your support. It means something special to all of us to be a Kentuckian, new or old. This organization is part of what that means to each of us who are apart of it. From the work we are producing we hope to bring the Future of the Commonwealth, for the Commonwealth today -- creating practical new solutions that improve quality of life and business across the state. Just as legal clinics and members work with clients who raise needs, we work with Kentucky policymakers and stakeholders to create nonpartisan solutions intended to support nonpartisan challenges across the Commonwealth at-large. To that end, we hope this group might one day impact your life too. For three years, we have meticulously grown the Commonwealth Policy Institute without funding or support. We are now reaching out to supporters for our work, from our board to our chapter(s) and building new capacity. Read here about our journey to create new nonpartisan solutions for the public & Kentucky-proud business good from Frankfort to Washington, and the next steps that your support can lead to.
"Kentuckian" is an unbridled spirit that comes from diverse people across our state who are faithful, care-filled, easy going, ingenuitive. They define what hospitality means, and what dedication to home is -- the symbol of the handshake on our state's flag. They have the grit to drive foreword in the face of adversity - the meaning behind our state's flower, the goldenrod.
We know Kentucky is home, or for some may only be home for awhile, and is a place that has variety underneath a familiarity as deep as the change from the hills of Appalachia to swamplands of the Jackson Purchase. New innovation is bustling in hollers, hills, neighborhoods, and in-between. Having the right kind of tailored policy support can unbridle new ventures. So it is with new challenges to improving quality of life with modern complexity - new regulations from Washington, new forever-chemicals in our waterways with old ways of sampling, digital access challenges from 5g to fiberoptic internet to cryptocurrency, post-COVID business recovery, tornado alley shifting east, a fear of being left behind and a right you should have to go at your pace without incurring loss....
In a complex world, our representative government - whether it is Congress, your community member elected in Frankfort, or your neighbor elected to City or County Council - needs support to create tailored solutions to evolving issues at-hand. To carry on, it's going to need a new generation of "good tailors" for those solutions too. The mission of the Commonwealth Policy Institute is to provide both at once.
For you, for hardworking business, for your city, your county, your Frankfort, and your Washington. All are faced with adapting to challenges we all face -- but despite of the failures of consensus that we see across media, Kentuckians know that when we focus on the Commonwealth we are defined by all these other things above politics.
We believe the future still holds room for a renewed era when Kentuckians are able to drive innovative solution-making across the country - not from politics, but from what solutions are best-suited to serve the public. We believe that at CPI, with your support, we can bring that future now.
To date, without asking for funding, we have: built new tailored policy to improve healthcare workforce development and critical access pharmacies, introduced state legislation for geographically tailored preceptor tax credit, introduced legislation that would incentivize distilleries and growth of bio-renewables and support agri-business upcycling spent grain wastes into new products, discovered an opportunity to address drawbacks in Kentucky's building code cycle which could automatically keep the state's code up to date to save lives and be more disaster resilient against flooding, severe storms, and other natural disasters, worked with offices in Congress who designed federal Qualified Opportunity Zones to design new transparency and gentrification avoidance measures to better-address citizen concerns and allow functioning of the West End Opportunity Partnership board in Louisville. Much, much more is in the works and there's still more work to see this legislation into committee.
With your support - evidenced by our work with net-zero, we could do much, much more. Support would compensate time needed to have all conversations necessary to get our solutions to your representatives, or, to you if you are a representative. One day we may even be able to engage with specific districts to design legislation to solve a particular problem that may be faced across the state.
During the 2020 pandemic, this nonpartisan organization - a think tank the first of its nature in the state - was founded with recognition by the General Assembly of its first university chapter to serve the Commonwealth engaging directly with policymakers, and simultaneously raising a new generation of thought-leaders for the public and private good across Kentucky from all backgrounds. The result was the birth of an organization capable of creating Kentucky-proud nonpartisan policy solutions, partnering with university research institutes for research capacity with stakeholders for ground experience with the challenge at hand, connecting further with legislators and departments throughout state government to build new solutions. In the process, we began producing professionals that are now certified practitioners under CPI. By 2021 we produced our first class of policy Fellows, some of which were offered PhD's largely due to their experience, drafted two bills into the General Assembly, circulated briefs in Congress which led to discussion in federal agencies on entirely new policy and ongoing relationships, and partnered with the University of Louisville to publish the solutions we develop with open access.
Growing stronger, we built a university chapter structure that welcomes community members of any age who show the promise and desire to develop new nonpartisan solutions to challenges faced at home or across the state and we're looking to expand to new areas.
Those chapter(s) work with our practitioning board to build new solutions for Kentucky - - as a public service. We are also seeking growth to be able to serve business from the practitioners on our board and our chapters.
Of course we don't avoid politics -- we work with, underneath, and through politics, designing nonpartisan solutions with mutual gains to all interests at hand including from feedback of groups viewed necessary at times to see bills through. We prioritize outcome over process-- when bills can't pass, we publish their text openly to allow continued support in future years or uptake by other legislative bodies. You are placing your support behind a new era of Kentucky solution-making, behind teams of young professionals and both young and older practitioners who CPI works with partners to train across marginal gains negotiation, quantitative and qualitative statistics, research for tailored policy, professional advocacy, and strategic decision-making -- in addition to having gone through the process of working to introduce new legislation and federal, state, and local level and some being successful. You may be placing your support behind a neighbor, friend, or relative who wants to take part in building the Future of the Commonwealth, For the Commonwealth with us at CPI.
Now that we have certified practitioners through a program certified by our board which works with university chapters to create policy Fellows, we are prepared to serve the public and business community in need of tailored policy solutions. But currently, we are running without budget and on voluntary time. It's hard to identify and tailor new nonpartisan legislation to keep up with the times and work for introduction without a budget, let alone truly grow our work.
We maintain regular relationships with our own representatives and others in the General Assembly, Washington, and locally. Now we look forward to connecting with you and your support.
We would love to have the capacity for our board members to build teams with our chapters and to serve direct needs of Kentucky businesses, for CPI to be able to respond to requests from legislators to tailor a solution to a challenge in their district, and to open new chapters at every public university in the state university system for all community members young or old who want to be the next generation of policy and solution-makers serving the Commonwealth.
With your support, we will not fall.
United we will stand - and we will bring a better Future of the Commonwealth, For the Commonwealth.
Can we have your support?
Senior Fellow & Board Member
Commonwealth Policy Institute, Commonwealth of Kentucky