Convincing others that a problem exists is a key first step.
Two strategies stand out. "Absolute problems" result
when virtually everyone is shocked into action (the terrorists
acts of September 11, 2001 convinced everyone that something had
to be done). Most policy stems from convincing others of "relative
problems." Things are worse than they were in the past --
relative to time (students feel less safe in schools). Or our
system performs worse than others -- relative to others we like
to compare ourselves with (we need stricter gun control since
we have more murders with guns than other democracies).