Writing Assignment 1
Select ONE of the following topics to answer for Writing Assignment 1. The writing assignment should be a minimum of 750 words. You should find most of the information you need to complete the assignment in the textbook, but it may improve your submission by using additional sources (such as news articles or government websites). See the Writing Assignment Instructions for more information.
Discuss how the population has changed in Texas and how it is projected to change in the future. (Hint: Look at the charts and graphs in Chapter 1.) In what ways might Texas’ politics change in the future based on its racial and ethnic makeup? Based on the population growth, urbanization and economic transformation of the last two decades, how might Texas change in the next two decades? Which areas will grow in population, and what might Texas’ government have to do to respond to that growth? (Be specific)
Compared to the US Constitution, why is the Texas Constitution so frequently amended? How does the turnout for elections dealing with constitutional amendments compare to turnout for presidential elections? (Refer to “Who are Texans?” in Chapter 2). Do you think the level of turnout influences the legitimacy of the amendments that are passed or rejected? Do you think that more people should participate in constitutional amendment elections? Why or why not? Is there anything the state can do to increase turnout for constitutional amendment elections?
Discuss the gender, racial and educational makeup of the Texas Legislature. (Refer to “Who are Texans?” in Chapter 7.) Does it adequately represent the population of the state? If the legislature had more people of color, more women, or more people of varying levels of education, do you think it would pass different policies? If so, what kinds of policies might they pass? (Be specific here.) Does the part-time nature of the Texas legislature encourage or discourage people from particular occupations to run? Do you think a full-time legislature could make the legislature more representative? Why or why not?