State health departments are at the core of the United States (U.S.) public health infrastructure. Surveillance to monitor trends in disease and injury; the development, coordination, and delivery of services; and public education are some of the core functions health department employees oversee every day. As such, agencies and their employees are well positioned to inform policy decisions that affect the public’s health. However, little is known about the role of health department staff — a sizeable proportion of the public health workforce — as advocates for public health policies, independent of their agency roles. Anecdotally, some health department employees with whom we have spoken expressed reluctance to engage in policy advocacy for fear of violating little known or understood agency or state rules.