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, others we like to compare ourselves with (we
need stricter gun control since we have more murders with guns
than other democracies).