- Most Americans have at least 1 issue that is most important to them. Economic issues are important to everyone-taxes, employee rights or healthcare. Many parents are concerned about child safety, academic excellence, parental rights, etc. Additionally, many Americans fret over federal issues such as national security or wasteful spending while other citizens prioritize local issues like potholes, traffic or homeowner associations.What is important to you?This assignment asks that very question. Each student will briefly (2-3 paragraphs) identify an issue near and dear to his/her heart and why that issue is such a priority.Additionally, I want you to describe how you would fight for this issue or bring attention to this issue. Session 7 introduces students to interest groups. Interest groups include lobbyists, staff and members who are passionate about that issue and serve an advocacy role for their position.For example, the National Rifle Association (NRA) includes members and staff dedicated to preserving the right to bear arms. Likewise, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) exists to fight for citizens over the age of 50. What if you took the next step and turned you passion or concern into an interest group? What if you became a policy entrepreneur? How you would raise awareness for your cause?Answer the following questions to help get the ball rolling.
- What would you name your interest group?
- Would you lobby elected officials and other government officials? If so, who would you target? What would be your message to these decision-makers?
- Harrison highlights the PR efforts and other marketing/outreach efforts practiced by these organizations. Would you engage in any PR efforts? Would you give people who are affected by your cause the opportunity to participate or become a member of your organization?
- What communication tools would you utilize in communicating your cause to the public? For example, would you focus on web-based tools such as a website, blog and text messaging or would you include more traditional forms of outreach as well?
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