If you want to eradicate mercury, legalize marijuana or keep an eye on government pork barrel spending, you might be interested in these 40 must-read blogs, forums and public policy projects. Interaction with these sites is made possible through forums, blog comments and advocacy projects that focus on specific goals — so you or any other reader can instantly become involved.

Website Forums

  1. Global Policy Forum: GPF is an independent policy watchdog that monitors the work of the United Nations and scrutinizes global policy making.
  2. Media Policy Center: public policy editor reports on how governments in Britain and beyond are rethinking and reforming the state’s role in public services, the arts and life in general.
  3. National Center for Policy Analysis: NCPA offers several formats to interact with other individuals. Join the conversation on health or economic policy, retirement and taxes, or energy and environment.
  4. Open Forum: Open Forum is an independent collaborative think-tank in Australia built around an interactive discussion website hosted and moderated by Global Access Partners (GAP).
  5. Public Agenda: This public opinion research and public engagement organization works to strengthen our democracy’s capacity to tackle tough public policy issues.
  6. Public Policy Forum: This is an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of Canadian government through enhanced dialogue among the public, private and voluntary sectors.
  7. The Annenberg Public Policy Center: This Web site is designed to give scholars, the media and the general public expanded access to the work that APPC began in 1993.
  8. The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life: This forum, launched in 2001, seeks to promote a deeper understanding of issues at the intersection of religion and public affairs.

Focus on Politics

  1. Brookings Institute: More than 200 resident and nonresident fellows research issues, write books, papers, articles and opinion pieces and testify before congressional committees and participate in dozens of public events each year.
  2. Citizens Against Government Waste: Register to receive a monthly e-newsletter and action alerts. CAGW also asks for involvement in surveys and in calling and writing letters to the media and Congress.
  3. Congress.org: This site produces bills, votes and the ability to track votes. Additionally, users can take action on issues and you can deliver letters to the person who can take action on your advocacy.
  4. National Conference of State Legislatures: NCSL is a bipartisan organization dedicated to serving the lawmakers and staffs of the nation’s 50 states, its commonwealths and territories. The web site lists state laws and legislative activities, and provides a number of reports, and publications.
  5. Open Secrets: If you want to track the influence of money on U.S. politics, and how that money affects policy and citizens’ lives, then this site is for you. Get involved with the new blog format or use the widgets on this site to interact.
  6. ProPublica: ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. Use their tools and data for your own activism.
  7. The Heritage Foundation: This site features work being done by conservatives and pro-liberty activists around the world.

Focus on Health

  1. Alliance for Human Research Protection: AHRP is a national network of lay people and professionals dedicated to advancing responsible and ethical medical research practices.
  2. American Association of Medical Colleges: Through its many programs and services, the AAMC strengthens the world’s most advanced medical care by supporting the entire spectrum of education, research, and patient care activities.
  3. American Health Line: AHL offers a concise, accurate, nonpartisan synthesis of the day’s health care news in 15 to 20 stories.
  4. American Medical Association: This is not your mother’s medical association — use information, online modules and apps to interact with this policy-making organization.
  5. Institute of Medicine: Each year, more than 2,000 individuals, members, and nonmembers volunteer their time, knowledge, and expertise to advance the nation’s health through the work of the IOM.
  6. Leading Age: This consumer hub offers information and support to help people make the most of the aging experience.
  7. National Organization for Rare Disorders: NORD is committed to the identification, treatment, and cure of rare disorders through programs of education, advocacy, research, and service.
  8. Research! America: This organization provides advocates across the nation with research partners’ forums, messages and other resources to build a unified voice for research and to facilitate their own outreach.

Various Projects

  1. HIDE: HIDE aims to establish a platform devoted to monitoring the ethical and privacy implications of biometrics and personal detection technologies.
  2. Marijuana Policy Project: This project focuses on removing criminal penalties for marijuana use, with a particular emphasis on making marijuana medically available to seriously ill people who have the approval of their doctors.
  3. Mercury Policy Project: MPP works to promote policies to eliminate mercury uses, reduce the export and trafficking of mercury, and significantly reduce mercury exposures at all levels
  4. National Coalition for Literacy: Learn how you can help advance adult education through this organization and its blog and policy activism.
  5. Renewable Energy Policy Project: REPP supports the advancement of renewable energy technology through policy research.
  6. Surface Transportation Policy Partnership: STPP is a nationwide coalition working to ensure safer communities and smarter transportation choices.
  7. The Free Expression Policy Project: FEPP provides research and advocacy on free speech, copyright, and media democracy issues.

Blogs

  1. AAS Public Policy Blog: This is the American Astronomical Society’s Public Policy Blog, created so this organization could interact with its membership and the public.
  2. Consumer Law & Policy Blog: The contributors to this blog are lawyers and law professors who practice, teach, or write about consumer law and policy.
  3. Foreign Policy Blogs: This is a global affairs blog network with blogs that tackle global developments from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and everywhere in between, daily.
  4. Google Public Policy Blog: Interact with Google’s views on government, policy and politics.
  5. Health Care Cost Monitor: The Health Care Cost Monitor provides commentary and opinion on cost control as part of the implementation of health care reform and in the broader context of assessing national priorities.
  6. Leviathan: This is a new public policy blog initiated by The Economist. The public policy editor reports on how governments in Britain and beyond are rethinking and reforming the state’s role in public services.
  7. Public Knowledge: This Washington DC-based public interest group works to defend your rights in the emerging digital culture.
  8. Public Policy Polling: Learn more about this polling company and how they operate.
  9. The Reality-Based Community: This is a blog where “everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”
  10. Women Impacting Public Policy: This group represents more than 505,000 women in business and women business owners nationwide.