American Government Discussion 8:
This is a pilot project that I hope to expand in future classes. You may work with one classmate on this discussion. If you choose to partner up, you do not need to clear it with me first. Just add the name of your partner at the top of your discussion response. You will both need to submit a discussion response so that your grade can be recorded in Canvas. Please let me know if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions. Be sure to take a look at the sample below, I hope that it inspires you to adapt a plant-based diet!
Public policy is usually derived from the legislature, lobbyists, and interest groups. The White House and governors also have the ability to propose public policy. Many of you are passionate about a variety of topics, as noted by your mutual aid programs in discussion 1. Please select an issue to write a brief public policy proposal on. Once you have selected a topic, think through viable solutions, and then create a macro plan for implementation. I am not looking for a 2 page paper, but I do want you to be innovative and think about how your proposal will impact the country and it’s residents. Please follow the guidelines listed in the discussion rubric and the outline below.
Public Policy Proposal Outline
Topic Selection: What issue in the country or world is keeping you up at night? It may not impact you, but rather your loved ones, coworkers, or community. What problem do you want to address or solve?
Describe the Problem: State the problem that you want to address and who is impacted. What are the short-term and long-term concerns if the problem is not addressed? (2-3 sentences)
Recommendations: Propose 1-3 recommendations to solve the problem. (1-3 bullet points)
Policy Adoption & Implementation: How should your recommendations be implemented? What governmental agencies or organizations will you need to work with? How will your proposal be funded? State government, local government, private organizations, or nonprofit organizations? Can you provide a brief 3-5 step outline? What evidence, research, or statistics do you have to support your position? These can be from scientific studies, other companies, or organizations that have followed the newly proposed policy and support your argument. (3-5 sentences)
Conclusion: Write a short conclusion to your public policy proposal. Assess your proposed policy. Will your solution actually solve the problem? Will it solve an immediate need until a long-term solution can be found? If your solution will not solve the problem, will it mitigate the impact on people or the community? Provide a brief summary of the information you have presented in your policy proposal. Convince the class to support your policy proposal. (2-4 sentences)
Citations: Be sure to cite your sources. You will need to include at least 2 citations to meet the requirements to earn 15 points.
Extra Credit: Do not forget to ask a classmate a question or challenge their policy position to earn your extra credit point.
Additional questions to think about:
Does your policy proposal align with current legislation? If not, how do you propose to garner support?
Will others see your policy proposal as political? Or, is it a nonpartisan effort?
Is your policy proposal popular or on the fringe?
What organizations or individuals are currently profiting from the problem? How will they respond to the loss in profit?
What organizations would you partner/align with to support your cause?
What organizations would you consider advisories?
What organizations would help support your cause, despite your opposing goals?
What actions can you take today, this week, month, or year to further the cause? Make calls, create a media campaign, etc.
What organizations, communities, or individuals will be positively and negatively impacted if your policy proposal is passed?
Describe the Problem
Every Texan can help reduce the carbon footprint and the impacts of climate change by committing to eating a plant-based diet. Texans have already seen the short-term impacts of climate change with recent floods, wildfires, and droughts. Years from now, Texans will experience increased respiratory problems due to algae blooms along the coast and an increase in devastating hurricanes. (Jones, 2020) If Texans love our state and the environment, they will commit to a plant-based diet so that future generations can thrive.
•Texas residents should commit to eating a plant-based diet at least two days a week and reduce the amount of animal products consumed daily.
•Texas restaurants and businesses should adhere to the ChooseMyPlate guidance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the ‘Planetary Health Diet’ by C40 Cities. This includes school districts, hospitals, and any business that provides food to the Texas community.
•The Texas government should encourage cities to participate in C40 Cities and fund community gardens in marginalized neighborhoods to address food deserts.
Policy Adoption & Implementation
The Texas government will encourage residents to adopt a plant-based diet by giving tax incentives to individuals and businesses who commit to the small lifestyle change and who can provide adequate documentation. Let’s face it, the average Texan cannot afford solar panels nor will they benefit from the green emissions tax incentives. Millions of dollars are reallocated every year, those funds could easily be placed into the hands of people who need it. “The ‘Planetary Health Diet’ could save 11 million lives each year, if adopted universally, while dramatically reducing emissions and supporting a global population of 10 billion people.” (C40 Cities, 2019) Support from the Texas Legislature will be galvanized by utilizing interest groups and lobbyists. Developing sound relationships with the Texas Secretary of State, Texas Department of State Health and Human Services, and the Texas Education Agency will be vital in accomplishing our goal. A media campaign directed toward local government and residents will consist of social media ads, compelling stories from celebrity plant-based diet advocates, and a detailed description of how everyone can benefit from plant-based tax incentives.
Eating a plant-based diet will not eradicate the centuries of harm done to the planet. It will take a concerted global effort to mitigate the impact of climate change. We owe it to future generations to make a commitment to do our part for the environment. Please join us in going plant-based to help improve the quality of life for everyone. We Need You!
C40 Cities. (2019). 14 Cities Commit to Sustainable Food Policies That Will Address the Global Climate Emergency. Retrieved on September 28, 2020 from https://www.c40.org/press_releases/good-food-cities (Links to an external site.)
Jones, D. (2020). Five Times the Effects of Climate Change Loomed Over Texas in 2019. Retrieved on September 20, 2020 from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.texasobserver.org/texas-climate-change-2019/amp/ (Links to an external site.)
Sample Public Policy Proposals
Holtz-Eakin, D. (2016). Reducing Poverty the Republican Way. Retrieved on November 20, 2020 from https://inequality.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/Pathways_Presidential_Republican-Way.pdf (Links to an external site.)
Texas Appleseed. (2019). Out-of-School Suspensions Harm Students Experiencing Homelessness. Retrieved on September 25, 2020 from https://www.texasappleseed.org/sites/default/files/OnePager_OSS_LyricsStory.pdf (Links to an external site.)
Need help selecting a topic? Here is a short list of issues:
Accessible internet access
Criminal justice reform
Tips for Completing Discussion Prompts
-Use 7-10 complete sentences and proper grammar.
-When you reference an article you should cite the article as a source. For each discussion, I will always provide a cited article and questions to prompt your dialogue. When you complete a discussion you should copy and paste the cited article that I provide into your answer. All work must be cited using MLA format.
-To receive a 15/16 on a discussion grade, you will need to demonstrate that you have researched relevant articles outside of the course to support your opinion. Your post must demonstrate that your opinion is backed by facts.
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