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Posted: September 7th, 2023

Create an Interest Group ASSIGNMENT

Create an Interest Group
ASSIGNMENT: In this course, you learned that forming or joining interest groups is one way that Americans can participate in the U.S. political system. Recall that interest groups are formal associations of individuals or organizations that act to advance a shared interest and often attempt to influence government decision-making and public policy. For this assignment, you will create a hypothetical interest group around a cause or issue that is of interest to you. You will establish policy goals and strategize to meet those goals. By doing so, you will apply what you’ve learned about how the U.S. political system functions and about interest group formation, strategies, and incentives.

To complete the assignment, download the Create an Interest Group template and follow the directions below. You will return the completed template as your Touchstone submission.

Create an Interest Group Template
Example Create an Interest Group Submission (PDF)

In order to foster learning and growth, all essays you submit must be newly written specifically for this course. Any plagiarized or recycled work will result in a Plagiarism Detected alert. Review this tutorial for more about plagiarism and the Plagiarism Detected alert: Touchstones: Academic Integrity Guidelines.

Step 1: Select an issue or cause that is of interest to you, and prepare to create a hypothetical interest group that will advocate for the interest. The issue or cause could be big and national in scope (for example, gun safety); it could be small and local in scope (for example, cleanliness of the public park in your town); or anywhere in between. Note: Submissions that analyze existing, real-world interest groups will be returned ungraded.


Review the Role of Interest Groups in Democracy tutorial and the Types of Interest Groups tutorial to help you reflect on the functions of interest groups.
Once you’ve selected an issue or cause, think about your goals and what you would want your interest group to accomplish. Talk to friends, family, or community members, or research on the Internet to learn more about the issue.

Step 2: Download the Create an Interest Group template and review the prompts. Think about the specific policy and membership goals of your hypothetical interest group, the barriers to achieving those goals, and the strategies that would best lead you to success.


Keep in mind that the best strategies may be different for different interest groups, and may depend on how much public or political support exists for your goals, the membership base for your interest group, and how much money and political influence your group is likely to have.

Prepare to respond to the prompts by reviewing the Interest Group Strategies tutorial and the Factors that Influence the Power of Interest Groupstutorial.
Step 3: Fill in the Create an Interest Group template. You will respond to the following prompts. Remember to include in-text citations when summarizing, quoting, paraphrasing, or including statistics or data from outside information sources!

Your Interest Group
In approximately 6-8 sentences, give your hypothetical interest group a name, and describe the issue or cause it supports or opposes and why.
What type of interest group is it?
What are your specific policy goals? Specify at least 2.
Which level(s) of government and which government branch(es) will you target, and why?
Is there one political party that might be more receptive to your goals? Why or why not?
What barriers exist to meeting your goals? Specify 2 or more. Examples might include the free rider problem, lack of popular support, lack of political support, financial barriers, or others.
How might your group overcome each of those barriers?
Who will you target for membership and how will you grow it?
What sorts of incentives can your interest group provide?
Choose two inside lobbying approaches and two outside lobbying approaches that your interest group will use. Explain how each will contribute to the goals. You can choose from the menu provided (below), or brainstorm your own ideas.
Inside Lobbying Outside Lobbying
Hire a professional lobbyist Hold protest demonstrations or rallies
Testify at congressional committee meetings or before the full legislature Place stories or articles in the media
Provide research or information to congresspersons Issue press releases
Meet with government officials Enter a coalition with other groups
Submit draft legislation to legislators Ask members to contact their representatives
File lawsuits or legal briefs (e.g., amicus curiae briefs) Publish ratings of legislators, other elected officials, or political candidates
Try to influence agency or judicial appointments Mold public opinion and spread awareness through social media
Donate to political campaigns Spearhead get-out-the-vote campaigns
REFERENCES (include, as needed, for any sources cited)
Checklist for Success:

❒ Did you review the suggested tutorials?
❒ Did you create a hypothetical interest group (i.e., not analyze an existing one)?
❒ Did you fill in all sections of the Create an Interest Group template?
❒ Did you review the grading rubric and compare it to your response?
❒ Did you review the example Create an Interest Group submission to see an example of a completed assignment?
❒ Did you include in-text citations when summarizing, quoting, paraphrasing, or including statistics or data from outside information sources?
❒ Did you proofread your work for proper grammar, punctuation, spelling, and capitalization?


Your Interest Group
The American Association for Clean Energy (AACE) is a nonprofit interest group that advocates for policies to promote renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions in the United States. We believe that transitioning to clean, renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power is critical to combating climate change and protecting the environment for future generations.
What type of interest group is it?
AACE is a public interest group that aims to represent the broad interests of the general public in promoting environmental sustainability and addressing climate change through clean energy policy.
Pass federal legislation that establishes a nationwide clean energy standard requiring 50% of all electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030.
Lobby state governments to adopt renewable portfolio standards requiring a certain percentage of electricity to come from renewable sources. We will initially target states in the West and Northeast that tend to be more politically liberal.
Which level(s) of government and which government branch(es) will you target, and why?
We will target both the federal government and state governments, lobbying Congress and state legislatures to pass clean energy standards. The executive branch is also important to influence through regulatory policy and appointments.
Is there one political party that might be more receptive to your goals? Why or why not?
The Democratic Party tends to support clean energy and climate policy more than the Republican Party. However, there is bipartisan support for renewable energy among some members of both parties, so we will target both.
What barriers exist to meeting your goals? Specify 2 or more.
Opposition from the fossil fuel industry, which spends heavily on lobbying and campaign contributions against clean energy legislation.
Skepticism about climate change and the need for action from some Republican politicians and conservative voters.
How might your group overcome each of those barriers?
We will counter fossil fuel industry lobbying with our own lobbying and grassroots activism. We will also expose the fossil fuel industry’s role in disinformation campaigns that spread climate denial.
We will educate conservative voters about the economic and national security benefits of clean energy leadership. We will also work with Republican politicians who are open to market-based climate solutions.
We will target young people, environmentalists, and concerned citizens who support action on climate change through social media campaigns and on-campus organizing. We will grow membership by emphasizing that clean energy is a bipartisan issue that benefits both the environment and the economy.
What sorts of incentives can your interest group provide?
We will offer members a voice in our policy advocacy and opportunities to get involved through volunteering. We will also build a sense of community and purpose among our members working together toward solutions to the huge challenge of climate change.
Inside Lobbying: We will hire professional lobbyists to meet with members of Congress and their staff. We will also submit research reports to legislators demonstrating the economic and national security benefits of clean energy.
Outside Lobbying: We will hold rallies near Congress and state capitols to raise public awareness. We will also issue press releases, conduct social media campaigns, and place opinion editorials and articles in major newspapers to influence the national debate.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (2018). Global warming of 1.5°C. https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/
U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2021, September 14). What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source? https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3 essay writing service.
Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional feedback on my draft interest group proposal. I’m happy to revise based on your feedback to improve my response.

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