Policy-Sierra Club

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Kelsey Brown
POLI 100
Jenn Sykes
March 19, 2013
The Sierra Club as an Advocacy Group
There is a wide array of advocacy groups in Washington and across the United States, but who is actually heard? Advocacy groups want to become actively involved in policy making. To achieve this they must become major players in Congress, the administration, the courts, and have certain attributes. Matt Grossmann’s theory of behavioral pluralism highlights the important characteristics and differences between advocacy groups that increase their political success. The important constituency attributes for organized representation according to Matt Grossmann’s theory of behavioral pluralism are: socio-economic status, political efficacy, and media attention, and civic involvement. These constituency attributes make the Sierra Club’s efforts as an environmental advocacy group, specifically the campaign “Beyond Coal” successful. The Sierra Club is one example of the many environmental groups in the United States that lobby for favorable environmental policies. The Sierra Club is one of the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organizations in the United States. One of the Sierra Club’s main goals is to stop the construction of coal factories. They also work to shut down coal factories that are already up and running. In doing so they believe it will help to preserve mountains, waters, and lands from the harmful affects extracting coal reserves. They promote an alternative to the coal factories - the use of clean energy. The Sierra Club’s campaign is titled “Beyond Coal”. The mission of “Beyond Coal” is to unite grassroots activists across the country, to move America beyond coal. Behavioral Pluralism identifies a certain set of constituency attributes that contribute to the success of advocacy groups such as the Sierra Club. According to Grossmann’s theory these constituency attributes dictate advocacy groups like the Sierra Club’s...
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