Policy Process and Public Opinion
Managing public opinion and understanding the balance between its influence and your advocacy goals is a delicate matter. It is a task fraught with uncertainty because, as a policy advocate, you must navigate through the territory of politicians, bureaucrats, and lobbyists whose primary goals are to appease and please their constituents.
In this Discussion, you select a social problem that is of interest to you and identify how public opinion influences the process and political approaches involved in addressing that social problem.
To prepare: Refer to your Week 2 Small Group Discussion Forum for ideas.
By Day 3
Post a description of the importance of public opinion in addressing the social problem you have selected. How does public opinion influence political approaches to the problem? Explain. What policy advocacy approaches and skills can you use to address the problem with political leaders? What are the social justice implications of your approach?
There are challenges to agenda building that if not dealt with carefully and skillfully can adversely affect an issue or a proposal that you are trying to place in front of a decision maker. On the other hand, no matter how expertly you build an agenda for your issue or proposal, some issues are going to simply be avoided or not selected for consideration. Why is this so?
In this Small Group Discussion, you explore challenges surrounding policy agendas and the reasons why some proposals never make it to the decision maker.
By Day 3
Post your responses to the following questions presented for Small Group Discussion:
Many social issues do not receive the necessary attention from decision makers. Why might these issues be cast aside?
Some issues lack sufficient support to ensure that they are added to decision-makers’ agendas. Why might this be?
Some issues receive significant attention from decision makers. Why might these issues easily find their way onto decision makers’ agendas?
In your reading for this week, you meet Jose and Iris, two individuals who are in situations that require assistance and guidance from a professional social worker and policy advocate.
In this Discussion, create a policy proposal that will impact the situations faced by either Jose or Iris. Describe the trade-offs you used to develop your proposal.
To prepare: In your text, review “Trade-Offs: Systematically Comparing Policy Options in Step 3” in Chapter 8.
By Day 3
Post a brief summary of the policy proposal and its purpose that you created based on either Jose’s or Iris’s situation and the trade-offs you used to develop your proposal.
Be sure to support your post with specific references to this week’s resources. If you are using additional articles, be sure to provide full APA-formatted citations for your references.