Interest Group Assignment - Mona Shores Public Schools

Interest Group Assignment
1. Pick one of the interest groups listed below. You are free to pick another group if you have a
different choice. Just ask or email me to be sure you have made a good choice.
2. Go to that group’s web site. Go to News Google and search for information on your group.
That will help you find what issues they’ve been involved in recently. 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, unified essay.) You can give your information in a bullet-points list
A. What are the issues your group is concerned with? 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? What resources make it influential? Give specific
examples: (e.g. use of the media, law suits, direct lobbying, public information contributions,
etc.) Which parts of the government does your group target, i.e. which executive branch
departments and congressional committees?
B. What is the group’s political ideology? Does it favor one political party over the other? If
so, does it have a history of supporting certain political candidates? What is it doing 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.
Discuss the issues that your group is concerned with and then, for the points in this section
you will do the following. Find and summarize two news articles relevant to your interest
group. You can use to find such articles. Use the information to
show how your group is trying to influence public policy.
C. 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 demonstrating their
effectiveness or lack thereof.
A. How it tries to influence policy and the public agenda
B. Political Efforts/two news article summaries if your group is
C. Assessment of your group’s strengths and weaknesses with
examples supporting your conclusions
(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 with an asterisk by them are ones
you all need to know. There are, of course, many more organizations, but one must draw a
line somewhere. Use this list to pick an interest group for your assignment.
1. AARP – American Association of Retired People*
2. Christian Coalition*
3. NARAL – National Abortion Rights Action League*
4. ACLU – American Civil Liberties Union*
5. Club for Growth
6. NEA - National Education Association*
7. AFL-CIO – American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations*
8. Council on American-Islamic Relations
9. National Resources Defense Council
10. ABA - American Bar Association*
11. Emily’s List
12. NOW – National Organization of Women*
13. American Conservative Union
14. Environmental Defense Fund
15. NRA – National Rifle Association*
16. American Farm Bureau
17. Family Research Council
18. PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
19. AIPAC - American Israel Public Affairs Committee
20. Handgun Control, Inc.
21. Public Citizen*
22. AMA - American Medical Association*
24. Sierra Club*
25. ATLA - Association of Trial Lawyers of America
26. NAACP – National Association of Colored People*
27. US Chamber of Commerce
28. The Business Roundtable
29. NAM - National Association of Manufacturers*
30. Veterans of Foreign Wars*