Project 3 Congress
This paper is POSITIONAL. The purpose of this project is to learn more about who is representing you in the U.S. Congress, and to let your voice be heard on an issue that interests you.The paper is to be written in 3rd person.
1. For the first part of the project, you will write a profile of either your Representative to the House or one of your state's two Senators. Write a brief political profile of the legislator you choose.
*Who are they?
*What are their electoral histories, committee assignments, etc? Be brief with committee assignments.
*What groups or interests have supported them financially? Check out how their voting records have been ranked by interest groups.
*Do their committee assignments make sense?
*What are they up to in Congress?
*Do your legislators and their assignments seem to fit your district/state?
*How do you feel about this person, now that you've learned a little more about them?
*Is this person a good Representative? Why or why not?
GIVE ME ANALYSIS on how YOU think this person is doing as your representative. Analyze their voting record. Are they consistent? Are they true to their party platform? Discuss some of the projects they have worked on and tell me whether they have done a good job on them. I am more interested in what YOU think.
Do not give me a report....give me an analysis. Make absolutely sure that if you have data in your paper that you give PROPER CITATION. Lack of citation will result in a 25 point deduction. I will also check your sources.
The member’s website can be a useful source of information, but keep in mind everything you read there will naturally have a positive slant towards the member. This part of the project should be a minimum of 2 pages, and of course double spaced.
2. The second part of the assignment is to write a letter to an elected representative about an issue or problem that you are concerned about. You may write to the person you’ve just profiled or another elected official at any level. Letter writing tips: 1) Know what you're talking about. 2) Be respectful. Even if you disagree with someone's position, you can do so in a courteous way, 3) Bebrief. Staffers don't have a lot of time to devote to each letter. Keep the letters to no more than a page. I want this to be more than just an exercise for class. Write about something you really care about and send it to the representative! You must also submit the letter to me. An objective of this class is to make you more comfortable participating in the political process.
These websites should provide you with the information that you need to write your profiles:
Vote Smart (www.vote-smart.org) - This site contains biographical information, issue positions, campaign finance information, voting records and interest group evaluations for each member of Congress
Center for Responsive Politics (www.opensecrets.org)- This site has detailed information on campaign contributions received by candidates in each district and where their money came from.
Official site of the House of Representatives (www.house.gov)- Among other things this site contains links to individual member homepages.