The Texas Tribune

Select ONE of the following topics to answer for Writing Assignment 2. 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.

  1. How are state judges selected in Texas?  Discuss two different methods used in other states for selecting judges. What are the arguments for each of the selection methods you discussed?  Do you think that judges should be elected or appointed?  Explain your reasoning.   How informed do you think the public is about judicial elections and judicial candidates?  If you were voting for a judge, would you research the candidates and their qualifications or would you vote based on party affiliation?
  2. According to “Who Governs Texas’ Cities?” in Chapter 10, which city council best reflects the racial/ethnic composition of its population? Explain how you came to this conclusion.  Which city council diverges the most from its city’s population?  Explain how you came to this conclusion.  Do you think it is important that city councils reflect the racial/ethnic composition of their communities? Why or why not?  Describe an issue a city might face where the racial/ethnic composition of the city council might matter in resolving that issue.
  3. Do you think that sales taxes are a fair way for the state to generate revenue? Why or why not?  As described in  The Texas Tribune article “How Texas lawmakers tax swap plan could affect Texans”, there was a proposal in the 2019 legislative session to increase the sales tax to offset a reduction in property taxes.  Do you think trading a sales tax increase for a property tax decrease is a fair approach for the majority of Texans?  Why or why not?  What happened to this proposal during the 2019 legislative session?

 

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