Pick a policy area–such as affirmative action, health, housing, employment, criminal justice, education, voting or welfare (or an issue within those, for example, gun control).
Length: 6-8 pages double-spaced
Format: Policy Memo
You will need to use 5 sources—not including Wikipedia and its cousins (repeat—do not reference Wikipedia, about.com, etc. in your papers, you will lose points). Government websites, think tank and interest group websites, electronic journals and newspapers are legit. Make sure to cite references properly and include a references cited page.
Part One: Problem Statement
A) Policy History: What is the origin of policy in this area?
What has the Clinton, Bush OR Obama Administration done with regard to this policy?
B) Major Issues/Components
Identify three issues or subtopics within your policy. What are those issues?
Part 2: Viewpoints
Here, there are two parts:
A) you want to look at what people are saying about your policy issue. For example, what are the positive and negative aspects of affirmative action? Why do some support and others oppose it? Basically you want to find at least four sources (two for each viewpoint) that offer some type of opposing viewpoint on your issue. One source might be to find the homepages of the Urban Institute, Brookings Institute, the Cato Institute and the American Enterprise Institute and see what they have to say about your issue, for each has its own opinion, and they tend to differ. Be sure to discuss why the person/group agrees or disagrees with the policy.
B) How do the Republican and Democratic Party view the issue/policy? You can go to their webpages to check out their platform.
Part 3: Impact on the African-American Community
What is the significance of your policy as it relates to the status of African-Americans? For example, how does welfare, affirmative action, immigration or education affect African-Americans? To illustrate this you should provide a statistical overview of how the policy impacts America, and specifically African-Americans. You should not have to go and out find any statistics on your own, instead, look through your sources and see what they have to say about the impact of your policy on the Black community. What patterns do you notice? Are African-Americans impacted in similar ways as other “racial” groups? You may also want to look at what the NAACP and Congressional Black Caucus has said about the issue in recent years.
Part 4: Unofficial Actors: Interest and Advocacy Groups and the Media
A) Find 3 interest groups that deal with your policy. Who are they? Who are their members? How powerful are they? What are their greatest resources? What is their stance on the issue and the reasons they offer to support their approach?
B) How has this issue been covered during the Obama administration (2008-2014)? You can use Lexis-Nexis to do this or you can use the Washington Post database on our library’s website to gather this information.
Part 5: Conclusion and Recommendations
- What is currently going on in this area/with this issue? What is its future?
- What recommendations would you make to address the issue(s) related to this policy area? How could the government help solve the problem(s) facing our nation related to this issue or policy you have discussed in this paper?
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