California Politics Essays

| May 20, 2015

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California Politics Essays


Write essays of at least one page each on four of the following questions.  Please use the handout “California Politics:  An Introduction with Suggested Online Resources” to gather material for these essays.  You may also use current periodicals available in the library or online.  I especially recommend the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee for their coverage of state politics.  Rather than using footnotes, you can simply mention your sources when you use them.  You will be graded primarily on how well you use the resources available.



  1. California Government. Based on the introduction written by your instructor, what do you find most valuable or interesting about California Government?  Please note if you have any suggestions for additional topics or questions that could be covered.


  1. 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 and tell what you learned.


  1. Describe some of the challenges facing California’s system of elementary and secondary education.  Why is education a topic of political discussion?


  1. Higher Education. Explain California’s system of public higher education.   Is it a good idea to make college available to all people who are interested?  Is it practical?


  1. Social Welfare. California has a history of helping people with challenges, such as low income people, foster youth, and the mentally ill.  Can we continue this commitment to social welfare?   (You will find the California Budget Project site especially helpful.)


  1. The Governor. Using current periodicals, find out what our governor is doing to address one or more major issues.  Do you think the governor has much influence, or is our state mainly run by other factors such as the economy, the legislature, and public opinion?


  1. The State Budget. What would you propose we do to achieve a balanced budget with stable funding for important state priorities?  Should we raise taxes, and if so, what kind of taxes?  (Notice I included online resources with differing perspectives on this topic.)


  1. Describe some of the important propositions that the voters decided in 2014.  Do you think voters are qualified to make good decisions on propositions such as these?  Are we asking voters to do work that our legislature should be doing?

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