Active Policy Programs

The Institute of Politics serves as a regional catalyst, bringing public and private sector leaders together in private sessions to focus on issues of significance to Western Pennsylvania. This role requires the development of seminars and other off the record discussions which are regional, intergovernmental, interdisciplinary, and non-partisan.

The Institute's programming strategy includes two criteria:

  1. Public and elected officials will assist with the development and implementation of all programs.
  2. All programs will be tailored to involve a policy impact or outcome.

The Institute is currently working on the following initiatives:

Criminal Justice Reform: Creating a Path Forward to Reduce Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System

The IOP and its Progress Panel continue to push for criminal justice reform in Allegheny County. Its latest effort is a comprehensive research initiative designed for "Creating a Path Forward to Reduce Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System." Learn more about the IOP's criminal justice reform efforts.

Education: Learning from Crisis

The IOP's Education Committee is working on a white paper to identify policy solutions that foster creating nimble, high-performing learning environments that provide continuity and equity in K-12 education during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more how we can "Learn from Crisis."

Education: Strengthening Relationships in Education

The Institute's Education Committee held a forum to build capacity among superintendents and other school leaders to serve as more effective advocates for the students in their districts. Learn more about strengthening relationships in education.

Health and Human Services: Fostering a Lead-safe Region

The Institute's Health and Human Services Committee developed programming to increase awareness and reduce exposure to lead for southwestern Pennsylvanians. Learn more about these initiatives here.

Governance: Local Government Finance Initiative 

The IOP Fiscal Policy & Governance Committee is developing a new project to provide southwestern Pennsylvania local governments guidance and resources to help inform their financial decision making in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the Local Government Finance Initiative.

Workforce Development: Enhancing Student Success

The Workforce Development Policy Committee works to identify key issues in our region’s employment pipeline and enhance educational and training opportunities for students and workers to be prepared for current and future high-demand employment. This Spring, our Task Force on Equity in Dual Enrollment and Pre-apprenticeship Programs will release actionable recommendations for state policy in relation to increasing equity in and access to dual enrollment and pre-apprenticeship programs in the commonwealth. The Task Force met monthly throughout the latter part of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 and plans to release a report with findings and recommendations in Spring 2022.