Interest Group Assignment - AP

Interest Group Assignment
Name __________________________________________________
1. Pick one of the interest groups listed below on the Study Guide. You are free to pick another
group if you have a different choice.
2. Go to that group’s website. Research the following topics and type up a report (about three
pages, double-spaced) covering those topics. You can simply put the topic as a heading and then
give the information on that topic. This isn’t meant to be a thesis-driven, persuasive essay. You can
give your information in a bullet-point list.
a. Give a brief history of the group (e.g., founding date and location, prominent founders,
motivation, notable achievements). Unless your group has a notable history (and some of
these groups do), I don’t expect a detailed minute-by-minute discussion of your group’s
history. I’m just looking for information on what the purpose of this group is and what type
of actions it has taken in the past.
b. What is your group’s political ideology? Does it favor one political party over the other? If
so, which candidates has it supported during elections? What does it do to support their
favored candidates? Make the connection between their political ideology, the legislation
they support, and the party they support.
If you think your group is absolutely neutral, say so. Many interest groups are neutral. For
the points in this section you need to do the following: Find and summarize two news
articles relevant to your interest group. There are many news websites online including Use the information to show how your group is trying to influence
public policy.
c. What are some examples of legislation your group supports or opposes? What actions does
your group take to try to influence policy and the public agenda? Give specific examples
(e.g., use of the media, lawsuits, direct lobbying, public information contributions, etc.)
Which parts of the government does your group target, i.e., which executive branch
departments and congressional committees? How successful is your group? What resources
make it influential?
d. Assess your group: What are its strengths and weaknesses? How effective is it in achieving
its agenda? Back up what you say with specific examples.
Possible pts
Political efforts/two news article summaries for neutral
How it tries to influence policy and the public agenda
Assessment of group
Yours pts
(This rubric must be stapled to the front of your assignment)
Interest Groups
You should be familiar with the following interest groups. Basically, I want you to know the types
of issues these groups are involved in and whether they are generally supporters of liberals or
conservatives, or are non-ideological. If I gave you an issue, you should know which interest
groups would be involved. The groups in bold are ones you all need to know. There are, of course,
many more organizations, but one must draw the line somewhere. Use this list to pick an interest
group for your assignment.
1. AARP – American Association of Retired People
2. ACLU – American Civil Liberties Union
3. AFL-CIO – American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations
4. ABA – American Bar Association
5. American Conservative Union
6. American Farm Bureau
7. AIPAC – American Israel Public Affairs Committee
8. AMA – American Medical Association
9. Americans for Democratic Action
10. ATLA – Association of Trial Lawyers of America
11. The Business Roundtable
12. Center for Equal Opportunity
13. Christian Coalition
14. Club for Growth
15. Council on American-Islamic Relations
16. Eagle Forum
17. Emily’s List
18. Environmental Defense Fund
19. Greenpeace
20. Handgun Control, Inc.
21. NAACP – National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
22. NAM – National Association of Manufacturers
23. NARAL – National Abortion Rights Action League
24. NEA – National Education Association
25. National Resources Defense Council
26. NOW – National Organization of Women
27. NRA – National Rifle Association
28. PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
29. Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America
30. Public Citizen
31. Sierra Club
32. US Chamber of Commerce
33. Veterans of Foreign Wars