1. (four paragraph)
First, read the Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative’s State Policy Agenda published in February 2019, which highlights a number of policy options through which governors and state legislators might address problems related to work in the 21st century.
Next, choose two of these proposals—one from the “Modernize Worker Benefits and Protections” section and one from the “Build a Skilled and Resilient Workforce” section—and describe in a paragraph (one paragraph for each proposal) how they would address a specific problem. Then explore the “Examples” in the gray boxes under the proposals that you’ve chosen, reading the endnotes and following the citations and links. Write two more paragraphs (i.e., one paragraph for each proposal) in which you describe one Example that stands out to you.
You should end up with four paragraphs overall!
Please complete this Advocacy Essay Madlibs worksheet.
A few notes on this assignment (please read—it will help!):
Clearly, it is going to be very hard (impossible, actually) to complete this assignment without having first done a substantial amount of research. So, start with the research! Have you fully explored all the parts of your problem? Have you researched and thought through multiple possible solutions to it, and have you figured out why you think your solution (or your combination of solutions) is superior to all the others? Have you researched and addressed possible counter-arguments to your solution? Have you considered the various things that might make your solution difficult to implement?
Use your MERL Worksheet here, which you started in class.
IMPORTANT: The Advocacy Essay Madlibs assignment mentions five “frameworks” to consider—causation, coverage, feasibility, comparison, and cost/benefits. Here is a more detailed explanation of them (these are my explanations; please also see the AGWR pp. 243-244 for more!):
“Causation” means: does your solution really address the core cause of the problem you’re dealing with? Or does it just put a band-aid on a gaping wound?
“Coverage” means: does your solution really cover everyone affected by your problem? Or does it just cover some people? (This might be okay, if you’re arguing that your solution is really just a necessary first step to solving a larger problem…)
“Feasibility” means: is your solution actually feasible? Could it actually be achieved right now, given issues like funding limitations, different kinds of resistance to social programs, etc.? This is the place where you’ll need to take the current political climate into account….
“Comparison” means: can you back up your solution by comparing it to other, similar solutions that have been implemented elsewhere? For instance, is there a particular city or state that has passed laws related to worker protections, and can you argue that these same kinds of laws need to be implemented at a country-wide level? (But then consider how “feasible” this kind of comparison really is…)
“Costs/Benefits” means: consider the benefits of your particular solution relative to other ones (or relative to doing nothing), but also consider the “costs” of your solution. This is a good place to consider counter-arguments: people who might be against your solution for the particular kinds of “costs” it might involve.