Parish Government

Impact Statement – Logan W, Blake A, Moriah P, and Arin M

In Impact on November 3, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Politics in a democratic republic relies upon an informed electorate making decisions based on fair and impartial information. As a way to make a political impact, we decided to select an issue and then focus our efforts on voter education concerning that issue. A problem we identified in class, and which we confirmed out in the real world, was voter ignorance of issues at the local level. Therefore we selected the issue concerning the sale of alcohol in the Dallas areas, as well as the Park Cities. There are two propositions on the ballot for Tuesday November 2 which have the effect of granting the right to sell alcohol in grocery stores and convenience stores, as well as selling liquor by the drink in Dallas area restaurants.

 Our project’s goal was to inform citizens in the Southern Methodist University and Highland Park area of those two propositions to support the sale of alcohol which would affect University and Highland Park as well as Oak Cliff, Dallas, and a few other small towns.  From passing out flyers with pros and cons of the proposition, to talking with individuals about voting and the political process we engaged individuals in conversation about the propositions to help them understand the consequences of both a favorable and an unfavorable stance on the bill. Many of the people we questioned promised to vote for the propositions in the upcoming November 2 election; however, the impact on our group wasn’t felt mostly through informing the masses to take action but through the impact on ourselves and our own views. Through passing out the flyers we engaged students and adults with political discussions many of whom asked us for our own opinion, and were surprised at the possible ramifications of the bill. Blake’s opinion on the bill changed from being against the bill to for it because it would increase jobs and limit drunk driving;  Logan still advocating against the bill, Moriah’s idea changing from indifferent to an oppositional view, and Arin is reaffirming that the bill was a good idea. Our ideas about the bill strengthened or changed. The impact made our group understand that involvement can change your opinions.  Similar to a debate in which individual informed of all sides can then and only then understand and solve a problem. Engaged SMU students appeared to have strong opinions about the bill as well as many parents who desired the bill to pass for convenience purposes. Many of them agreed to go vote and spread the word about the proposition needed only a small push for change to occur.

While our flyers may have started a discussion, it did not end it. When we left we heard conversation in the distance and individuals talking about differences on the SMU campus and what would happen if the propositions were passed. This vision of a world of active engaged individuals affected our group. Informing and telling people to vote combined with engaging and changing our opinions about a local bill would have been impossible without talking to and asking people what they thought about a simple issue. As one of the individuals we interviewed exclaimed that he was going to vote no for the props but as he heard our justification and read through the pros and cons he decided to vote for the bills. This not only reminded people to vote but also reminded individuals that discussion and knowledge can change ones opinion.

Thus our impacts were increasing knowledge of the propositions, promoting discussion, encouraging people to vote, and a change of opinions on the bill from our perspective. Furthermore another interesting side note is that SMU president strongly opposed to the alcohol bills had expressed his opinion to the public along with University Park Mayor Dick Davis.  SMU students were genuinely surprised at the opinion of the school president, which once again shows the importance of information in the political process.

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  1. Even though yall had a students involved we think y’all had a great idea that should of been processed more throughly to the point where we could see the measure of the impact y’all had.

  2. Thanks for the comment, the impact was also on our group as our opinions of the bill changed furthermore increasing awareness and locking individuals into voting furthered our impact as well. The wiki also increased discussion amongst our group on issues of voting and local propositions.

  3. Informing people was also the first step in our project. It was a very good tactic to take. I like how you did more then just one thing to prove your point. It was also very cool that you got a discussion going at the SMU campus. That’s all we can do really, is spread the word and vote ourselves. Good job!

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