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Public Policy


FAITH IN ACTION! Our mission is to help transform society in light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are specifically committed to empowering Catholics to put their faith in action – in their homes, in their communities, and in the public square. Our vision consists of three components: education, advocacy, and evangelization. 

Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify your heavenly Father. ”   

-Matthew 5:15-16  

Our Mission

1. To educate…

We are here to educate both Catholics and non-Catholics alike on the Church’s position on issues ranging from religious liberty, marriage and family, the dignity of the human person, bioethics, and social justice. Our goal is to explain the basis behind Catholic positions and to demonstrate why these positions are credible and appealing.

2. To advocate…

We are here to advocate on behalf of our Catholic faith, especially in the public square. We are committed to working together with government representatives, parish activists, and regular Catholics in the pews. Our goal is to mobilize the faithful for lobbying trips, online campaigns, rallies, and other activities that will influence our government. We also seek to advance legislation that embodies Catholic values.

3. To evangelize…

We are here to evangelize and spread the Catholic perspective to others. Our goal is to employ public policy initiatives as a means to deepen the faith of Catholics and to proclaim the Gospel to society at large. We believe that the heart of evangelization is the ability and willingness to engage with those who disagree with us.

We coordinate our efforts with the Respect Life Office, Office of Young Adult Outreach, and other offices of the Archdiocese, as well as the New York State Catholic Conference (NYSCC) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). In particular, we rely on the NYSCC Catholic Action Network, which organizes and mobilizes grassroots e-mail advocacy in support of the positions of the Church on public policy matters.

We produce a variety of written materials and give talks to religious and secular groups. For basic information on the areas we are concerned with, please see below.

Key Issues

Our main topics of focus, including abortion, assisted suicide, gender ideology, and religious freedom.

Public Policy Blog

Our comments on contemporary issues of importance for Catholics and society overall.


Additional links on Catholic social teaching, voting with a Catholic conscience, ways to get involved, and our videos.

Discussion Group

Our monthly discussion group on controversial issues from an explicitly Catholic perspective.

Who We Are

Ed Mechmann is the Director of the Public Policy Office and the Safe Environment Program at the Archdiocese of New York. He has a B.A. from Columbia, a J.D. from Harvard, and an M.A. from St. Joseph’s Seminary, and is also a former federal prosecutor. Ed is an active member of St. Barnabas’ Church, and volunteers with his wife in the community. 

Alexis Carra-Tracey is the assistant to Director of the Public Policy Office and the Safe Environment Program at the Archdiocese of New York. She has a B.A., M.A., and J.D. from Fordham. She is the founder of Discussion & Discipleship, an active member of her parish, and has recently gotten married.

“By fulfilling their civic duties, guided by a Christian conscience, in conformity with its values, the lay faithful exercise their proper task of infusing the temporal order with Christian values”

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Catholics in Politics 1

“The direct duty to work for a just ordering of society… is proper to the lay faithful. As citizens of the State, they are called to take part in public life”

Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est 29

The Public Policy Office is funded by the Cardinal’s Annual Stewardship Appeal

To support the mission of our office, please donate here.