Course Title: PPA 252 Urban Policy/GOVT 284 Urban Politics
Professor Robert J. Waste
Department of Public Policy & Administration
Fall Semester 1998
Meeting Times:
Mon. 7-10PM Mendocino Hall Room 2000

Catalog Description:
PPA 252/ GOVT 284 Urban Politics & Policy (45 hours lecture-discussion seminar format)
Exploration in depth of the socio-economic problems of urban and metropolitan areas and evaluation of proposed political and governmental solutions. May be repeated for credit with permission of Graduate Coordinator. 3 units.

Goals of the Course: There are five interconnected pedagogical goals of the course. These are: (1) to stress the importance of thinking systematically about urban issues, opportunities and challenges; (2) to emphasize the interconnectedness of various urban challenges; (3) to underline the importance that individual actions and contributions can and do make in the metropolitan regional picture; (4) to aid students in understanding urban public policy and contemporary urban and metropolitan issues; and (5) to aid graduate level students in understanding the "life cycle" that urban public issues tend to follow in contemporary politics and policy settings. .

Instructional Material (all in paperback editions):

1) Gregory Andranovich and Gerry Riposa, Doing Urban Research (Sage, 1996).

2) Eugene Bardach, The Eight-Step Path of Policy Analysis (Berkeley Academic Press, 1996).

3) Christopher Jencks, The Homeless (Harvard University Press, 1994).

4) Robert Waste, Independent Cities: Rethinking US Urban Policy (Oxford University Press, 1998).

5) The Cycle of Family Homelessness (NY: Institute for Children & Poverty, 1998).

6) The Campaign to Prevent Handgun Violence Against Kids: A 1997-98 Resource Directory (San Rafael: California Wellness Foundation).

The following articles will be placed on reserve in the mail campus library:

Jock O’Connell, "How Green Was Our Valley – A Cautionary Tale of 2020 Sacramento," and
Rusty Hammer and George Nolte, "Another 2020 Vision: Creating Sacramento’s Future Together"

Grading: Based on class attendance, and completion of a 15-20 page final paper. The term paper should: (a) describe the challenges and opportunities surrounding an aspect of homelessness or violence in the Sacramento urban region; (b) must include an explanation of "recommended action steps" to address the Sacramento regional challenges involved with that given urban policy area; and (c) must include material and methodologies drawn from a careful reading of all of the texts which are required reading from the course.

Schedule:
I. INTRODUCTION
1. / August 31
st Goals of the course
Are cities crazy?

Definition of urban public policy and public issues
Federalism
the legal status of cities
urban scholars: Dahl, Peterson & your professor
Sunbelt and Frostbelt cities
East Coast versus Left Coast political ethos
the Progressive revolt & the City Manager movement
initiative, referendum & recall
reformed & unreformed city structures
5 types of city governments
Exceptional types (San Francisco, of course)

Reading: No assigned reading for the first week. Begin reading for week 2 early!

Query for students: What communities do you consider yourself a member of? What is a "community" sociologically and culturally? Are communities defined by the presence of a certain amount of chaos? Why or why not?

2. / September 14th the Introductory Vocabulary Continued:
Definition of the life cycle of public issues
Issues entrepreneurs and social issue expansion, growth and displacement
The "ecology" of city policymaking*
subgovernments and "COGS" – the invisible governments & issues in regional areas
What is "LAFCO" and why was it necessary to invent LAFCO in California?

Query for students: Whither LAFCO, and should we care? Why or why not??

3. / September 21st : The LAFCO Story Continued & the Rise of Prop 13

Query for students: What is Proposition 13, and what are its consequences? What is the relationship between state government and local governments, and what should that relationship look like, and why?

4. / September 28th Urban Planning and the Rise of "Equity Planning" and the "New Urbanism"
Various Forecasts of what the region will look like in ten, twenty and fifty years
Land use decisions, how are they made?
Suburban Sprawl and Land Use
inefficient use of land, leap frog developments
Sustainable development, "nested development" and urban areas
Guest speaker: To be announced.

Reading: For this class session, the following articles will be placed on reserve in the main campus library:

Jock O’Connell, "How Green Was Our Valley – A Cautionary Tale of 2020 Sacramento," and
Rusty Hammer and George Nolte, "Another 2020 Vision: Creating Sacramento’s Future Together"

Query for students: Does regional government exist in the region? Is it possible or desirable and why or why not?

5. Oct. 5th / Flooding in the Sacramento urban region
a review of the dangers
a review of the options
Guest speaker: To be announced.
Query for students: Sacramento is the largest metro area in the U.S. with a high flooding danger. Why, and what should be done to confront the flooding danger challenge?

the region?

18 Suburban Sprawl and Land Use
inefficient use of land, leap frog developments
Guest speaker

6 & 7 Oct. 12th 19th / Urban Homelessness
When did bums, winos and pan-handlers become the "homeless," and why?
What is "cycle" of public opinion on & urban social issues in general?homelessness
What is "compassion fatigue" and its implications for the homeless?
What is the "best" way to count the homeless, and why?
What works in meeting the homeless challenge, and why?
Reading: Jencks (entire)

8. Oct. 26th / Gene Bardach & Policy Analysis
Reading: Bardach (entire)

9. Nov. 2nd / Doing Urban Research
Reading: Andranovich and Riposa (entire)

10 & 11 Nov. 9th and 16th / Crime in Urban Regions
the urban regional crime picture
urban danger: "Shooting Gallery Cities"
Community policing & other public safety innovations
Guest speaker: to be announced.
Reading: Waste, Chapters 1 & 2, & 99-103, 11-124.

12 Nov. 23rd / Fighting Urban Crime
Guest speaker
Reading: Campaign to Prevent Handgun Violence (skim)

13 Nov. 30th / Moving Towards Urban Policy "Solutions"
Guest speaker: to be announced.
Community and individual political action
Legislative action through appropriate economic incentives (fines, fees and subsidies)
Regional government revisited

14. Dec. 7th Culminating Sessions: Team Presentations
Reflecting on Individual & Group Findings by the Instructor
and Panel of Community-Members
Post-Test

 

BACK