PUBLIC PLANNING

PUBLIC PLANNING

2. Local Policy Brief: In this paper, you will explore alternative policies for a problem that is primarily under the control of local government and relevant to Houston and/or surrounding cities or counties. The policy brief should: 1. Describe the problem faced by Houston and/or surrounding cities or counties. 2. Outline steps taken to try to deal with the problem. 3. Describe alternative policies that can be pursued, including their costs and benefits. 4. Recommend an alternative and justify that choice. Pursuing recent issues of the Houston Chronicle should provide some examples of the policy problems that Houston and/or surrounding cities or counties are currently dealing with. Policies that Houston and/or surrounding cities or counties would be unable to pursue independently without substantial changes in federal or state law are not acceptable topics for the policy brief. Examples of unacceptable topics include (but are not limited to) immigration policy, altering the “border fence,” abortion, the War on Drugs (except as it relates to demands on local law enforcement bodies), terrorism, No Child Left Behind, school vouchers, welfare benefits, social security reform, improving services from the VA, etc. The problem need not be unique to the area (most of Houston and/or surrounding cities or counties public policy problems are not!), but it must be addressable within the competence and powers of local government. This paper should be approximately ten pages long and be suitable for presentation to the Houston and/or surrounding cities or counties City Council, or other relevant governing body.

All papers written for this course must be word-processed or electronically typeset. The body of your paper should be double-spaced and written using a proportional typeface (either 11 point or 12 point). 2 The paper must consistently utilize an “author-year” citation style, such as that of the American Political Science Association (or, if you prefer one of the Modern Language Association or 2Proportional typefaces include Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, Garamond, etc. “Typewriter-style” (constant-width) typefaces such as Courier New are not acceptable. Please include appropriate figures and tables and a full bibliography listing the works cited in your paper, and be written using coherent prose and acceptable grammar. You should also include a title page with the date, title, and appropriate identifying information. Your paper must be an individual effort; you may consult with me, the Writing Center, or other students, but the writing and research must be your own work.