Suffolk, VA Assignment 1: Report On the City of Suffolk
Report on Suffolk • Put your name and address • Borough • Population facts, including • Size • Population • Racial diversity • Median age • median residential sales price • Unemployment rate • History • Government, • Economic resources • Major businesses • Education • List what you think are the most pressing problems in Suffolk today. List at least 5. • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPNvHq1qEDA
Preserve America Community:Suffolk, Virginia • Suffolk's rich history dates back to 1608 when the English settled here and traded with the Nansemond Indians. Captain John Smith noted the potential of the oyster beds in the Nansemond River, but was driven away by the native population. Eventually commerce grew along the river and John Constant founded an important trading center and village known as Constant's Wharf, which would become the Town of Suffolk in 1742, after Governor William Gooch's home in Suffolk County, England.
Burned by the British in 1779 and damaged by other fires throughout the next century, Suffolk survived to become a city in 1910. In 1912, an Italian immigrant named AmedeoObici moved from Pennsylvania to Suffolk and founded the Planters Nut and Chocolate Company. Today, Suffolk remains a major peanut processing center and transportation hub in the heart of the Hampton Roads region. The City of Suffolk expanded in 1974, consolidating with the towns of Holland and Whaleyville and the County of Nansemond and making Suffolk (the largest city by land area in Virginia), encompassing a total of 430 square miles.
Suffolk offers visitors a wide array of cultural and historical sites, some of which are promoted as part of Virginia’s Civil War Trails program. The Old Nansemond County Courthouse, a Greek Revival building rebuilt after the fire of 1837, served as part of the headquarters for Major General Peck of the Union Army. Riddick's Folly (1837), a 20 room Greek Revival house, also briefly served as Union Headquarters and is now a museum and cultural center. Cedar Hill Cemetery (1802) houses the Confederate monument dedicated in 1889 and many other historic sculptures.
The Historic Prentis House (c.1800), one of the oldest standing homes in Suffolk, has undergone an extensive restoration in cooperation with the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities and now serves as the Suffolk Visitor Center and offices for the Suffolk Division of Tourism. The Seaboard Passenger Train Station (1885), in continuous use until the mid-20th century, has been renovated as a railroad museum featuring a two-room HO-scale model of Suffolk in 1907. The deteriorating1922 Suffolk High School is currently being restored and repurposed to serve as a cultural arts center with community meeting space and services in the downtown historic district.
Know your Allegiance-Activity • Neighborhood • City of Suffolk • Virginia • United States • World
Your representatives • President: Barack Obama • Vice President: Joseph Biden • U.S. Senators: Tim Kaine and Mark Warner • U.S. Representative: J. Randy Forbes • 3rd Senatorial District: Tommy Norment • 76th District: Chris Jones • 77th District: Lionell Spruill
Just the Facts… Size 430 sq. mi. Population (2010)***** 84, 585 (+32.8% since 2000) Employment* 34,354 Median Age**** 36.0 Households**** 23,283 Families**** 17,718 Population Density**** 159.2 per/sq. mi. Residential Median Sales Price (2009) $255,000 2010 Median Household Income***** $57,546 Civilian Labor Force (2009) Suffolk*** 42,323 Hampton Roads Region/MSA ** 789,507 Unemployment Rate Suffolk** 6.7% Unemployment Rate Virginia** 6.4% *2008 ACCRA Demographics ** U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics Dec, ‘10 ***Virginia Employment Commission Dec, ‘10 ****American FactFinder, United States Census Bureau 2010, referenced at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suffolk,_Virginia ***** Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, Demographics and Workforce Group, www.coopercenter.org/demographics
Who We Are… Households* 23,283 • 36.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them • 55.1% were married couples living together • 16.8% had a female householder with no husband present • 23.9% were non-families • 20.2% of all households were made up of individuals • 8.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older • Avg household size was 2.69 • Avg family size was 3.09 Age Distribution* • 27.8% under the age of 18 • 7.1% from 18 to 24 • 31.1% from 25 to 44 • 22.5% from 45 to 64 • 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older • 47.8% of population are males • 52.2% of population are females *American FactFinder, United States Census Bureau 2010, referenced at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suffolk, Virginia
Suffolk’s Diversity Our geographic diversity is a mixed-rural geographical classification which encompasses portions of rural, semi-rural, urban and suburban areas in our 430 square miles. Our racial diversity* includes: • White 52.3% • Black or African American 42.7% • Hispanic/Latino of any race 2.9% • Two or more races 2.3% • Asian 1.6% • Native American 0.3% • Pacific Islander 0.1% • Other 0.8% *Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, Demographics and Workforce Group, www.coopercenter.org/demographics.
Education in Suffolk Suffolk Public Schools: • 14 Elementary Schools • 4 Middle Schools • 3 High Schools • 1 Alternative School Independent and Faith Based Schools: • Nansemond Suffolk Academy • First Baptist Christian School • Community Colleges: • Old Dominion University Tri-Cities Higher • Education Center • Paul D. Camp Community College (PDCCC) • Tidewater Community College (TCC) • Regional Public School (career & technical ed): • The Pruden Center for Industry and Technology
City Council • Mayor: Linda Johnson • Chuckatuck: Mike Duman • Cypress: Charles Brown • Holy Neck: Jeffrey Gardy • Nansemond: Lue Ward • Sleepy Hole: Roger Fawcett • Suffolk: Charles Parr • Whaleyville: Curtis Milteer
Assignment 2: Define a problem • In your group, define a problem you feel is facing the City of Suffolk. • Answer these questions: • Who is responsible for problem? • What is the triggering mechanism? • What are the current laws/policies? • Who are the stakeholders? • What does this law/policy impact? • Who has the “authority” to act to address the issue/problem? • Who has the “responsibility” to act to address the issue/problem? • What policy options would you like to suggest? • Identify an action that would promote your policy.
What is Public Policy? Public policy can be defined as the agreed upon ways that government fulfills its responsibilities to protect the rights of individuals and to promote the general welfare by solving problems.
Who is responsible? • Sometimes we don’t agree who should take responsibility due to our political or personal opinions and perspectives. • Federalism • Anti-federalism
Who is responsible? • Private Sphere – family and friends • Civil Society – individuals associating in social, economic, or political non-governmental organizations • Government – legally authorized institutions of government
What propels an issue on to the public policy agenda? Triggering mechanisms Catalysts that move once private issues onto the public agenda. Triggering mechanisms become important to the political process when they draw the attention of the public and public policymakers.
The Value of Triggering Mechanisms Triggering mechanisms as catalysts for public policy stem from the interaction of four factors: • Scope • Intensity • Duration • Resources
Triggering Mechanisms Scope- the number of people affected by the triggering mechanism. If an event has widespread implications for a sizable sector, then the demand for action will have a broad base (quantitative). Intensity- the extent to which people are bothered by an event. If something concerns the public (especially bringing fear or anger), then policymakers are more likely to respond to it (qualitative).
Triggering Mechanisms Duration -The length of time during which a critical event unfolds. Sometimes long time, sometimes instantaneous Resources - The “capital” at stake in a conflict or potential policymaking setting; not always money, may be “values”..
Examples of Triggering Mechanisms • The mortgage meltdown and economic turmoil • Raw sewage in Santa Monica Bay and environmental decay • Tobacco use and health related issues • Diminished tax resources and unresponsive government • Cell phone use while driving and public safety • Violence on school campuses and fear • The Internet and student safety • Terrorism and the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya
Public policy… • is purposeful. • is responsive. • is authoritative. • is coercive • may resolve conflict. • has public input.
Public policy can be… • Substantive- major rearrangements of public resources or values; e.g., tax reform, school uniforms OR • Symbolic - more psychological relief than actual change in the political system; e.g., legislation against flag burning
Who are the players in public policymaking? Public policy issues gain their status when they reach the eyes and ears of government actors. Also called STAKEHOLDERS. The process is initiated by: • Individuals • Interest Groups • Political parties • The Media • Policymakers
What are the environments for public policymaking? • Public policy decisions are made at every level of government • National • State • Local [county, city, town/village, school board, school-level]
Why is public policymaking controversial/difficult? • Public policy impacts people’s • Money • Lives • Values
What policy options exist? • Regulation • Incentive • Acquisition • Capital improvement • Finance • Education
How can we analyze public policies? In assessing the feasibility of the policy being proposed or enacted consider... • Cost - economic • Capability – authority or administrative • Capacity– technical ability • Consequence – political outcome [intended v. unintended]
Procedural Justice Rules for the formation and implementation of policies to insure wise and fair policymaking. Procedures include • Openness to public scrutiny • Relevant and accurate information provided to the public • Fair notice • Expert assistance when needed • Supportive witnesses and the opportunity to examine opposing witnesses • An impartial hearing • The right to appeal
Action • Possible actions to promote your policy • Write a letter to your representative • Speak at a Council or Board meeting • Write and circulate a petition • Organize a demonstration • Write a letter to the editor of your local paper • Comment on a local blog • Volunteer with an organization devoted to change • Work as a lobbyist • Boycott a business • Give financial support
Assignment 3: Write a policy • You are responsible for writing a policy to offer compensation to descendents of victims of the Trail of Tears. Write a policy which you think will satisfy the Cherokee Nation while also being reasonable and responsible financially and socially.
Assignment 4: Finding solutions • You are mayor. Your community has had a catastrophe. One young man, an African American, a good student, an athlete, has been killed in what looks like a hate crime. A white supremacist group takes responsibility. Publicity is spreading around the country. What do you do? Write a plan for recovery.