The U.S. Policy Council, made up of SSDP alumni, Board, team, and chapter members sets SSDP’s policy priorities and supports members with resources, advice, collaborative opportunities, and communicating policy priorities and activities to the network.
US Policy Council
Policy Council members commit to spending at least 2 hours monthly advancing SSDP’s policy agenda through providing analysis, resources, and mentorship to SSDP chapter members. The full Council will meet at least once per month to share updates from issue groups, plan for future activities, review assignments, and discuss other matters before the committee.
The Policy Council tactical group is selected from highly engaged Policy Council members and is responsible for approving Policy Council activities and work product, representing SSDP in closed coalitions, responding to short deadlines, managing the work of the Council, and providing an accountability framework for the issue groups. Members can be invited to the tactical group with consensus or a majority vote of the current members. Members interested in joining the Tactical Group can email the group at email@example.com to be considered.
Issue groups are formed to work deeply on specific policy issues. Primary responsibilities include monitoring bills and public debate about the issue; creating, updating, and maintaining toolkits and other resources; and providing support to SSDP members and chapters interested in the issue. Issue groups can select to have lead members if desired.
Current issue groups:
Campus Change (discipline, policing, housing, education, support) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Cannabis Policy – email@example.com
Drug Decriminalization – firstname.lastname@example.org
Global Drug Policy and UN Advocacy – email@example.com
Harm Reduction + Call 911 – Good Samaritan Policies (name change pending) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Higher Education Act – email@example.com
Opioid Crisis Response & Policy Reform – firstname.lastname@example.org
Psychedelic Policy – email@example.com
Scientific Research – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sentencing, Prisons, & Reentry – email@example.com
The Executive Director has delegated endorsement authority for bills, sign-on letters, and other items requiring endorsement in the United States to the Policy Council’s tactical group according to the following constraints (carried over from the delegation of the Board of Directors):
Endorsements which clearly fit within SSDP’s established endorsement criteria and policy positions may be given without Board approval
Short-deadline endorsements (less than 96 hours) which are generally aligned with SSDP’s established policy positions or values may be given without Board approval but the Board must be notified immediately.
- A description of the item to be endorsed
- The deadline for endorsement
- Any relevant links
- A brief analysis of the pros and cons of the endorsement.
Issue groups recommend endorsements to the tactical group for evaluation.
Chapters may independently choose to endorse particular items regardless of the Policy Council or Board’s position as long as the item is aligned with SSDP’s mission.
All bills, sign-on letters, and other items that are created outside the U.S. or by international bodies must be endorsed by SSDP International, SSDP’s Vienna office. All items created within the U.S. which have any notable effect on countries outside of the US (including United Nations items) will be endorsed following the approval of SSDP International.
Issue Toolkits are created, updated, and maintained by issue groups through comment access to the toolkit folder. Changes are approved by a member of the tactical team to ensure edits are aligned with SSDP policies and Style Guide. Toolkits are created by duplicating the items in the Issue Toolkit Template and should contain many if not all of the following items:
Chapter members interested in the issue will be added to the issue group’s Slack channel and given comment-only access to the toolkit for that issue by their team contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) or a member of the issue group. If the member is unwilling or unable to join Slack, the Fellow can post a note to the Slack channel and the group will determine which member is most suited to contact the chapter member directly.