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Please write essays (about 3-4 paragraphs each) on three questions.  Please use the handout “California Politics:  An Introduction with Suggested Online Resources” to gather material.  You may also use current periodicals.  I especially recommend the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee for their coverage of state politics.  The San Diego Union-Tribune is good for coverage of politics in our region.  Instead of using footnotes, simply mention the sources in the essay when you use them.  You will be graded primarily on how much reading, research, and critical thinking is evident in your essays.


California Politics.  Based on the brief guide written by your instructor, what do you find most valuable or interesting about California Government?  How do you see democracy working (or not working) in our state?  Please note if you have any suggestions for additional topics.


Public Policy.  The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) does research on a wide range of issues such as higher education, water policy, and environmental concerns.  Using the PPIC site, examine a major policy issue.  Discuss how state or local government can address this issue.


California’s Legislature.  Explain how our legislature is designed to work.  Do you see the job of a legislator as very powerful or very limited?  Assuming we elect good people, why does our legislature have trouble handling major state issues?  How could we help them do a better job?

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