urbanstudies 11.14.07

Urbanstudies - Angela Shamay Political Inequality URST101 Urban Poverty and Affluence Homework Assignment 8 Due 1 In his article about political

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Angela Shamay Political Inequality URST101: Urban Poverty and Affluence Homework Assignment # 8 Due: 11/14/2007 1) In his article about political inequality, John Mollenkopf explains that there are three possible explanations for political exclusion and under-representation of people of color in New York City electoral politics. Please describe the three explanations. According to Mollenkopf, there are three explanations for political exclusion and under-representation of people of color in New York City electoral politics: first, that low income, educational attainment, and political efficacy of minority individuals lead to lower participation, and therefore lower representation; second, that the structural organization of the political system discriminates against minorities; and third, that leaders of potential members of an insurgent coalition are so disorganized or fragmented that they cannot mount a credible challenge. 2) Which explanations are NOT valid for New York City? Explain your answer. The reason for low registration among the minority groups is not because of low incomes, less education and less political efficacy. Blacks and Latinos have less political power not because they are poorer and less educated, but because they are ineligible and do not favor the electoral choices presented to them. According to table 13.2, black and Latino assembly districts had slightly higher rates of registration than the white assembly districts, despite their low socioeconomic status. The black and Latino assembly districts had fewer eligible voters because of age and citizenship status. According to the table, 80% percent of the population of the 26 whitest assembly districts was 18 years of age or older in 1980, while 69 percent of the black population and 64 percent of the Hispanic population had attained that age. This information goes
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against the stereotype that minorities don’t register. Also the political system in NY did not nominate black or Latino candidates, therefore failing to give blacks and Latinos a reason to vote in general elections. “When strong black and Latino candidates did run in a Democratic primary, as in the case of Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign, black turnout exceeded that of whites.” We can say that the argument that “individual socioeconomic characteristics drive electoral inequality in New York City.” According to the article, the first and third explanations are not valid for New York City. We see that blacks and Latinos have less political power not because they are poorer and less educated, but because they are ineligible and do not favor the electoral
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This note was uploaded on 05/26/2008 for the course URBAN STUD 101 taught by Professor Zavala during the Fall '07 term at CUNY Queens.

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Urbanstudies - Angela Shamay Political Inequality URST101 Urban Poverty and Affluence Homework Assignment 8 Due 1 In his article about political

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