Texas Medical Association
For this assignment we will apply concepts and ideas that we learned in Chapter Three on Interest Groups! Students are required to choose an interest group active in Texas politics, research their chosen interest group and prepare a written brief about the interest group.
Read chapter three in NPR for more information on interest groups. Examples of interest groups include the Texas NAACP, Texas Right to life committee, Texas Association of Business, Texas Medical Association, LUPE etc). The brief should include a description of your chosen interest group, its goals, funding sources, membership recruitment strategies, and the tactics it uses to accomplish those goals. You should also explore critical perspectives about your chosen interest group. Remember that the goal of this assignment is for students to understand how people and organized communities, in general, could potentially influence Texas politics in general and law-making in particular. Choose ONE PARTICULAR group relevant to politics in Texas. DO NOT write your brief in general on interest groups! The Focus needs to be on the activities of the group in Texas Politics! use subheadings to indicate the aspects of the rubric that you are writing about.
Be sure to include the following subheadings or sections in your written brief:
1) Interest Group goals, tactics and strategies: Make sure you identify your specific group in this section and explore its goals, the tactics it uses as well as its strategies in raising money and boosting membership. Make sure as you identify your group you also classify it using the terminology in the assigned reading.
2) Funding Sources and spending strategies: In this section, make sure that you explore how the group raises money and how it spends that money. It is relevant that you be able to identify how the group spends money on lobbying lawmakers (if that is a stated goal), or raising awareness about its particular cause.
3) Political Activities: In this section, make sure you focus on your chosen group’s activities in Texas and its public policy making process. Does your chosen group lobby lawmakers? Does it make campaign contributions? Does it restrict itself to raising awareness among the general populace?
4) Controversial issues and Critical Perspectives: What are the controversial issues associated with your interest group? What do people who have opposing views say about your interest group and its activities?
5) Political Impact: Does your chosen group affect the democratic or Judicial Process? Has your chosen group been responsible for the passage of legislation successfully in Texas? Has your interest group successfully prevented a legislation from being passed in Texas? Has your interest group used the Judicial Process to achieve its goals? In short how has your interest group impacted Public Policy in Texas or Political Life in Texas?
The brief is required be about 5-8 pages long, 12 inch font and double spaced along with a citation page (Either APA or MLA Style is fine and there is no mandate on the number of sources you should use.
A Word about your sources and how to find quality information about your interest group:
Google of course is a good place to start. Google Scholar is even better. Make sure you pay attention to the quality of the website (Not everything on the internet is true!). Also you should be able to find a lot of basic information on the website of your chosen interest group! For other information on their political activities and controversial aspects, databases accessible through STC’s library website is a great place to get started and explore.
T he Following are links if you need help with how to navigate through the database and help with the logistics of writing a paper