I have conducted four interviews since my last blog post, and I cannot believe how much I have learned. With less than twenty-four hours separating one from the other, this week I had to constantly edit my interview questions. Looking through notes from each interview, I found the short intervals between them an incredible blessing. I spent my week writing in-depth questions to springboard off of details mentioned in prior interviews. Doing so gave me incredible opportunities to learn some of the specifics affecting different communities and how local and state governing bodies handled these issues.
One such event was the Equal Rights Ordinance passed in Plano. Throughout my interview, I learned how the ERO ignited backlash from within the community, as well from the outside: the state legislature. The ERO did not just trigger backlash. Following its immediate aftermath, political organizations, the Tea Party in particular, gained traction in Plano. Learning about how one ordinance was able to fuel the rise of a political group fascinated me, as I have been trying to research voter involvement and influence at local levels.
The information I gathered through my interviews inspired my most recent research assessment, and it will continue to fuel the questions I ask in my upcoming issues. While I will continue to keep an open mind, from what I have learned in this past week, I want to center my study in public policy around how voters shape communities and how elected officials respond at both the local and state level.