Public Opinion and the Political Future of the Nation's Capital (Google eBook)

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Georgetown University Press, Jun 1, 1996 - Political Science - 288 pages
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Despite widespread agreement that the District of Columbia's political system has collapsed, there is a serious lack of thoughtful proposals addressing the political future of the nation's capital. In this book, Edward M. Meyers examines the opinions of average Americans about Washington, D.C., in order to understand how many Americans are likely to approach the question of what reforms are needed. Meyers first explores the political, economic, and social conditions of the District, providing an informed context for understanding and evaluating its political options. Presenting the results of in-depth qualitative research with focus groups held across the country, Meyers reveals that regardless of the participants' knowledge about the District, their beliefs in six basic concepts or schemata -- such as respect for democratic rights, attitudes about race, and aversion to an intrusive federal government -- molded their opinions about various options for District self-governance. The book concludes with insights into the District by local and national political leaders, including OMB Director Alice Rivlin, Jesse Jackson, Representatives Eleanor Holmes Norton, Thomas Davis, and James Walsh, and Marion Barry.
  

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Contents

Policy Implications of a Dominant Ideology
114
Public Opinion Patterns on DC Policy Options
117
Overview of Focus Group Panelists
118
Panelist Typology
121
Policy Implications
123
Political Equality Points
130
Opinions Among Types of Panelists
132
Methodology for Analyzing Focus Groups
133

Puerto Rican Statehood
15
Qualitative Research into Unformed Issues
16
Summary of Conclusions and Organization of the Research
18
The Political Social and Economic Status of Washington DC
20
The Districts Illfated Employee Residency Requirement
23
Arenae Stadia and Trivia
26
Is Congress the Worlds Largest City Council?
29
Financial Control Board
31
The Districts Financial Failings in Perspective
33
Voting Representation or Lack Thereof
35
The Saga of the Vote that Did Not Count
36
Tradition of Subjugation
37
The Districts Social and Economic Status
39
Child and Family Wellbeing
43
Urban Distress
45
The Districts Share of Socioeconomic Burdens in its Region
47
Tax Burdens
52
DCs Structural Problems Abound
59
Ten Policy Options for the Nations Capital
61
Constitutional Questions
76
The Building Height Limit and Federal Payment
80
Ten Policy Options
81
The Criteria for Statehood
90
The Role of Race in Determining DC s Political Status
95
A Role for Race in Qualitative Research
103
Affect and Race
106
Group Identification Research
107
Political Behavior of Particular Groups
108
Sociotropic Vs Ethnotropic Behavior
112
A Dominant Ideology
113
Schemata Highlights
134
Policy Thresholds and Interschematic Links
136
Americans Six Schemata on DC Policy Options
138
2 The State Schema
143
3 The DC Schema
148
4 The Special Treatment Schema
159
5 The Antibiggovernment Schema
162
6 The Founding Fathers Schema
166
Schema Change by Panelist Typology
167
Summary
170
Strategies for the Future of Washington DC
171
Summary of Research Conclusions
174
The Political Pros Speak
176
A Mentality of Federal Dependency Thwarts DCs Drive to Political Autonomy
177
Strategies toward Autonomy
182
The Search for New Policy Options
187
A New Era of Strengthened Federal Control Over DC
189
The Onus Probandi
195
The Players
197
Summary of Panelists Responses
210
Focus Group Stances
213
Political Equality Points
215
Political Equality Point Averages
216
Qualitative Research Methodology
217
Schema Theory
231
Outline of the Six Schemata Their Themes and Subthemes
243
Bibliography
247
Index
259
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