Who determines what is discussed? • Agency staff or administrators. • Client reports or advocacy efforts at the agency level. • Community based social action, advocacy, or community development agencies. • Elected officials • Political candidates • Whistleblower reports • City, state, and national advocacy/interest groups. • Professional organizations • Media • House of Representatives/U.S. Senate • State Assembly/Senate • Federal information also available at: http://thomas.loc.gov (Thomas) and Federal Register http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html • State information also available from the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO):http://www.lao.ca.gov/laoapp/main.aspx California Budget Project: http://www.cbp.org/ • We can also find legislative analysis, issue research, and advocacy material on the websites of advocacy and research organizations (for example, the League of Women Voters, NASW, Children Now, the National Rifle Organization, National Council of La Raza, NAACP, etc). • • • • • • • • Information on the mission of the organization Research Reports Identification of Problems Recommendations for New Programs or Modifications in Current Legislation Articulation of Values/Ideology Identification of Disparities Among Groups Links to similar organizations/Coalition partners Requests for lobbying assistance/lobbying activities. • Some web pages created by “virtual groups.” These organizations may not have actual members or an office. • Some organizations may simply be created to advertise or sell products and may not be advocacy groups. • Some websites may simply contain erroneous information or gossip. • It’s up to the reader to decide if the group is real and information is accurate. • See assignment criteria on: http://www3.widener.edu/Academics/Librarie s/Wolfgram_Memorial_Library/Evaluate_ Web_Pages/Checklist_for_an_Advocacy_ Web_Page/5717/ • Have you been directed to the page by another legitimate source? • Do research reports contain academic references? Is it clear who authored the report? • Conducting research to identify the problem, its scope, and its source. You also need to know how people are affected by the problem. • You need to find people who can testify at hearings or talk to the media about the problem and its affects (both experts and people who have experienced the problem). • Research should be conducted on problem solutions. Alternative solutions and their benefits/limitations should be identified. • The current views and sources of power of decision-makers should be identified. Also, the policy advocacy should identify interest and advocacy groups that are likely to weigh in on the issue. The policy advocate should identify likely allies on the issue. • Find a legislator to sponsor a policy change and identify a likely committee of origin. • Find a “window” of opportunity for recommending a policy change. • Appeal to ethical principles such as social justice or advocacy. • Use media contacts to disseminate information about the policy problems or solution. • Provide detailed information to the media and decisionmakers in useable form. • Utilize media contacts who are in a position to actually advocate for and against issues (TV or radio talk shows; editorial boards of newspapers). • Mobilize the public to take action • Cooptation of others • Asking others for solutions or negotiating agreements with other groups who may want the legislation for other reasons • Coupling two or more issues together • Providing a good frame (way of viewing the issue) and title • We use policy models to view how decision-making works. • Jansson describes Simon’s garbage can model: Many issues and solutions percolate in the legislative process. Therefore many ideas are generated and may be thrown together in the general decision-making process. • We’ve talked about the incremental decision-making process. Policy is made in small steps and grows out of the process of negotiation and compromise. • There is also the rational model – in which good decisions are thought to originate in expert decision-making and data analysis. Legislators then act on what the expert has recommended. • We will talk about other ways to view the legislative process later in the course. (Elitist, neo-elitist, and public choice models). • Looks at how various levels of government interact to resolve problems and implement policies. • Looks at the role of the various policy actors. • Looks at how implementation may vary among agencies and the various roles and jurisdictions associated with these agencies. • Looks at the flow of information and communication among the various agencies and outside organizations. • Looks at the impact of jurisdictional and communication problems. Recommends solutions.