Death Penalty:Texas Moratorium Network

My Chosen Legislator is

Senator Nathan Johnson

Texas Senate District 16

My chosen interest group is

Texas Moratorium Network

Death Penalty

Your assignment must meet all of the following criteria:

1.Includes your name and student ID number in the header

2.Be word processed

3.Be double-spaced

5.Have a minimum length of 800 words (excluding cited text/direct quotations & Works Cited/bibliographic info) saved and submitted as a .doc or .docx file

6.Be presented in paragraph format featuring complete sentences

7.Includes at least two formal citations from a credible journalistic source, government website, book, or peer reviewed journal utilizing APA formatting (Your textbook can be used as a supplementary source, but it would not count towards this requirement.)

8.Follow all of the conventions and rules of Standard Written English

For this writing assignment you will be required to closely follow the instructions.

Do not skip steps!!!!!

The purpose of this assignment is to allow you to identify one of your elected state-level legislative representatives and the issues they have prioritized as your representative; then compare the work they are doing with your personal political beliefs. Do you care about the same issues that they do? This assignment will be worth 100 points of your final grade.

Step 1: Go to http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx to input your address and determine who your elected Texas legislative representatives are. You must choose to write on either your member of the Texas State House of Representatives or your member of the Texas State Senate.

Step 2: After selecting one of those state-level legislator, you will follow the link to his/her personal website. On that page, you will find varied information about your legislator, including links to that legislator’s most recently authored legislation.

Step 3: Go to https://votesmart.org/interest-groups/TX/#.Va5elPlVikp to locate an interest group that lobbies on behalf of an issue you care about. This can be any issue, from abortion to tax relief, as long as it is an issue that interests you. Navigate on the page to find an issue category (like “Campaign Finance and Elections” or “Foreign Aid”) that you are interested in. Then, under that category heading, select one of the particular groups in that category to research. {Those particular groups are located on the far right under the “SIG Name” heading.}

Step 4: Respond to the following list of questions in sequential order. Each question should be answered completely and numbered accordingly in separate paragraphs.

NOTE: This is not a position paper. You do not need to offer or support a thesis, but your answers are required to be submitted in complete sentences, and in your own words. DO NOT copy and paste from any of the websites you will utilize during this assignment. Part of the challenge of this type of assignment is to strengthen your ability to discuss political issues using your unique ‘voice’.

Question 1: What is the name of your chosen state-level legislator for this paper and what is his/her office/position?  What is his/her race/ethnicity, gender, and religious affiliation? What political party does s/he belong to? Does s/he share your preferred party preference? How long has s/he been in office?

Question 2: Each legislator’s website should feature a link to his/her authored legislation. Select and describe the two pieces of legislation authored by your representative during the most recent legislative session. (If your legislator has not authored legislation before, you should describe his/her two most recent sponsored bills).

Question 3:  Compare and contrast the mission and goals of your chosen interest group with the political beliefs and legislative priorities of your chosen legislator, providing AT LEAST two specific examples of either agreement or disagreement between them. Has your chosen interest group endorsed your elected legislator? What, if any, role do you think this interest group had in getting your legislator elected?

Question 4: Why do you think your chosen legislator was able to win election in your particular district? In order to answer this question, you must include a description of the demographic makeup of your district (including racial/ethnic information, gender statistics, and the voter turnout %). Was your legislator an incumbent officeholder prior to his/her most recent election, and was this a factor in getting elected?  Much of this information can be located on the web page of your chosen legislator, or in other common demographic informational sources.

Question 5: Now that you have this information, (please assume/pretend you are eligible to vote) are you more or less likely to vote in the next election? Why or why not? Would you vote to keep this legislator, or would you vote for one of his/her opponents? Why? Would your cultural and family background affect your vote for this legislator? Why?