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Marketing Citizenship What is the Annette Strauss Institute? An Organized Research Unit An interdisciplinary research unit An applied research unit Now 7 years old Who was Annette Strauss? (1924 - 1998) Mayor of Dallas Community servant Philanthropist UT Distinguished Alumnus

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what is the annette strauss institute
What is the Annette Strauss Institute?
  • An Organized Research Unit
  • An interdisciplinary research unit
  • An applied research unit
  • Now 7 years old
who was annette strauss 1924 1998
Who was Annette Strauss?(1924 - 1998)
  • Mayor of Dallas
  • Community servant
  • Philanthropist
  • UT Distinguished Alumnus
  • Texas Women’s Hall of Fame
who supports us grants
Who supports us? (grants)
  • Annenberg Foundation
  • Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Council for Excellence in Government
  • Dorot Foundation
  • Hatton Sumners Foundation
  • F.I.P.S.E.
  • Humanities Texas
  • LBJ Library Foundation
  • C.I.R.C.L.E.
  • McDermott Foundation
  • Gates Foundation
who supports us donors
Who supports us? (donors)
  • Citizen’s Level ($50,000 up)
  • Presidential Level ($10,000 to $49,999)
  • Senatorial Level ($5,000 to $9,999)
  • Gubernatorial Level ($1,000 to $4,999)
  • Mayoral Level ($250 to $999)
  • Council Level (Up tp $250)
current staff
Current staff
  • Institute Director
  • Associate Director for Research
  • Associate Director for Administration
  • Assistant Director for Public Programs
  • Director of Deliberative Polling
  • 5 program managers
  • 7 graduate research assistants
  • 2 administrative personnel
institute s advisory council
Institute’s advisory council
  • 52 members
  • Annual meeting in Austin and Dallas
  • Elected officials, lobbyists, attorneys, media personnel, former office-holders, Strauss family and friends
what is our purpose manifest
What is our purpose? (manifest)
  • Perform basic and applied research
  • Assess/document civic interventions
  • Use communication modalities to activate civic learning and involvement
  • Serve as a liaison between Texans and their University
  • Produce nonpartisan goods for society
what is our purpose latent
What is our purpose? (latent)
  • To create and sustain a counter-marketing campaign in an era when cynicism is being professionally marketed by:
    • Hip Hop/rock
    • The Daily Show
    • Enron greed
    • Religious fundamentalism
to put it simply
To put it simply

We try to address the fact that citizens are made, not born.

why was the institute needed
Why was the Institute needed?
  • 68% of young people feel disconnected from government (Hart & Teeter, 1999)
  • 28% of today’s youth express interest in “keeping up with public affairs” vs. 60% in 1966 (U.C.L.A. study)
  • Only 25% of high school students today are judged civically competent (N.A.E.P., 1999)
  • In mid-1960s, 60% of young people thought it was important to keep up with politics; by 2000, that figure had fallen to 30% (CIRCLE, 2002)
  • 46% of young people say they never or almost never talk with their parents about politics, government, or current affairs (Sustaining Wisconsin, 2001)
why is the institute needed
Why is the Institute needed?
  • Newspaper reading & public affairs TV are associated with participation; general Internet use and entertainment TV are not (Zhang & Chia, 2006)
  • Going to college dramatically increases civic health indices (N.C.O.C., 2006) but …
  • Civic learning is greater at colleges where students study history, political science, and economics (ISI Study, 2006)
  • Youth voting increased in 2004 but so did adult voting
  • Most measures of social trust and group affiliation show sharp declines in recent years
what are the effects of disengagement
What are the effects of disengagement?
  • Citizens can’t recognize themselves in their government
  • The citizenry can’t reproduce itself
  • Citizens without a stake behave poorly
  • The political parties suffer equally
  • Neighborhood and community life declines
  • Municipal economies are impacted negatively
won t they grow out of it
Won’t they grow out of it?
  • many schools have abandoned civic education
  • newspaper readership is low among youth
  • today’s youth were raised by parents who distrusted government
  • cynicism has become a preferred cultural style
why should communication scholars care
Why should communication scholars care?

(1) Mass communication is the engine of democracy

  • Freedom of speech is the first amendment
  • The penny press, radio, television, the Internet
  • Why political advertising is good

(2) Interpersonal communication quickens the pulse of a democracy

  • Power percolates upward (through word-of-mouth)
  • Civility travels laterally (from person-to-person)

(3) Rhetorical skills are not distributed equally at birth

  • Money often buys eloquence
  • Artlessness is remediable
what is the good news
What is the good news?
  • U.S. youth are more civically aware than those in other western democracies (IEA Study)
  • Volunteering is up among today’s youth
  • High quality service-learning programs build social capital (Morgan & Streb, 2001)
  • September 11 prompted a sudden rise in civic concern (Putnam, 2002)
  • A college student who votes passes on 60% of their propensity-to-vote to their roommate (Nickerson, 2006)
what is the good news cont
What is the good news? (cont.)
  • Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) proposed the “American History and Civics Act" in 2003
  • The more one knows about civics, the more one will:

- champion democratic values

- be less mistrusting of others

- participate actively (Popkin & Dimock, 1999)

- judge candidates on issues rather than personality

- be tolerant of people one does not know

- maintain “regime allegiance”

what is the good news cont19
What is the good news? (cont.)
  • Volunteering rates among young people has never been higher than today. Why? People have asked them to do so. (Galston, 2002)
  • Once a person’s level of civic engagement is set it is difficult to move that person’s level of engagement ... unless that person is young
our conclusion
Our Conclusion

It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness

activities of the institute
Activities of the Institute
  • Basic research
  • Field assessments
  • Outreach activities
public opinion research
Public opinion research
  • Water usage
  • Transportation
  • Corporations and Politics
  • Injury prevention
  • Health
  • Family Research
  • Telemedicine
field assessments
Field assessments

Student Voices Project: Connect high school students to mayoral campaign in San Antonio—2 years, 28 schools (Annenberg Foundation)

Campaign for Young Voters: Assess the impact of a “Candidate’s Toolkit” for reaching young voters—3 years, 7 states (Pew Charitable Trusts; Council for Excellence in Government)

current outreach projects
Current outreach projects
  • Speak Up! Speak Out!
  • TexElects
  • New Politics Forum
  • American Trustees Project
  • Civic Internships, Research Internships
speak up speak out
Speak Up! Speak Out!
  • Purpose: promote discussion of practical, local issues and empower students as problem-solvers
  • Students from participating high schools work in Presentation Teams throughout the semester
  • College students work as mentors in the high school classrooms
  • Half of presentation team defends its problem-analysis and solution in a “public hearings” format
  • Remaining members of team organize a “solution station” at a citywide Civics Fair
  • Presentations are competitively judged by political and community leaders
texelects project
TexElects project

PSA Y’all (create a public service

announcement to inspire voter turnout)

Spur on Your Candidate (create an ad

for the candidate of your choice)

Write You Are, Pardner (Write a persuasive essay explaining the importance of voting)

Wanted: Voters (create a poster to draw

people into the voting booth)

new politics forum
New Politics Forum
  • The Latest Techniques in Campaign Management
    • Taught by working professionals
    • Two to three-day seminars
    • Open to all Texas college students
    • Thirty-one participating colleges
    • Over 400 alumni since 2002
    • Became “portable” in 2006
n p f schedule
Upcoming Sessions

Austin – Fall 2005

Campaign Preview

Dallas – Winter 2006

Politics and the Media

San Antonio – Fall 2006

Campaign 2006 debriefing

Current Sessions

Campaign Bootcamp

New Media and Politics

Introduction to the Legislature

Careers in Politics

N.P.F schedule
american trustees project
American Trustees Project
  • Assumes that all Americans (1) are potential trustees of their communities and (2) have a story to tell
  • Teaches through narrative by sharing stories of civic entrepreneurs who make a difference in their communities
  • Consists of six minute videos with accompanying lesson plans for high school classrooms
Available at no cost to teachers
  • Accessible via streaming web
  • Searchable by standards, topics, and textbooks
why depend on narrative
Why depend on narrative?
  • People are fascinated by people
  • To tell a story is to be human
  • Relationships depend on common stories
  • Suspense cannot be ignored
  • Narratives are rooted in specificity
  • Narratives resist interruption
  • Narratives don’t make arguments … obviously
  • Storytellers are innocent until proven guilty
the future
The future

Max Weber: “Politics is the strong and slow boring of hard boards”