Public Policy Analysis: Asthma Rates in South Bay
Identifying the Issue
San Diego, California is known as the “finest city” due not only to its wonderful weather, but also to its extensive military presence. As a member of the community of San Diego, I have witnessed firsthand the renovations and changes being made in order to revitalize the communities. However, many times, it seems that the areas where money is being poured into, is not necessarily accessible to every resident of San Diego. There are some particular issues in the South Bay area of San Diego, that are affecting the health and overall well-being of entire families, in particular children. According to KPBS reporter Amita Sharma (2009), The movement of goods through the port of San Diego via ships, trucks and trains spews about 256 million pounds of greenhouse gases each year. Many of the city's poorest people live near the port's 10th Avenue Marine Terminal in Barrio Logan and they say the bad air is making them sick.
The first step in creating a policy that could assist the living conditions of the families affected, is to create awareness that the problem exists. According to Dye (2010) the first step in the policy process is to identify the problems through demand from individuals and groups for government action. So after making sure that the community is aware of the health implications that the shipyards and ship terminals are causing, the next step is to gather community members who are willing to voice their opinions, Making the societal problems public, and thus expressing demands for the government to take action.
In terms of the situation we are currently dealing with, the agenda setting for this particular issue will be from the bottom up. Ideally this is how policies should work, and according to Dye (2010) this particular method of policymaking is a “democratic-pluralist’ which assume that any problem can be identified by individuals or groups, by political leaders seeking to enhance their reputation and by the mass media seeking to create news and thus attracting public attention and compelling public officials to respond. The most powerful tool we will have in being able to tackle this issue, will be our interest groups as they bring valuable technical knowledge to policy formation, moreover interest groups can often provide the precise language they desire in proposed bills and amendments (Van Meter & Vanltorn,1975).
In terms of policy formulation, it would be beneficial to consider that the main proponents of these policies implementations for a better living environment are typically people with undocumented status, and also some of the poorest people, which is all the housing they are able to afford. This stage of the process would be the central focus as the coordinating points in the policy-making process will all build won to the decisions made in this particular stance.
The policy legitimation also known as the proximate policmakers have traditionally been the main focus of the overall complex process. This is the stage where most of the attention from the mass media will be outpoured. The activities being conducted by the proximate policymakers will be more transparent than those being conducted by private corporations or foundations. This is the part of the stage where all ideas are being formalized and being exposed to the public so that they can be picked part. Moreover, according to Fenno (1978) Members of Congress like to think of themselves as independent-minded, public-spirited “trustees” rather than merely message-carrying “delegates” sent to Washington by their districts’ voters. So this s essentially where the message can be lost in translation.