What are they?INTEREST What do they do? GROUPS Why are they important? What are some major interest groups?
WHAT IS AN “INTEREST GROUP”? Organizations whose members have shared views and objectives and work to affect public policy. Pressure Groups Special Interest Groups Are they evil? Do they have too much influence?
WHAT DO INTEREST GROUPS DO?Lobbying Letter Writing Phone Calls Raise Money Contribute Money Testify Educate and Inform the Public Engage in Public Debate
WHY ARE INTEREST GROUPS IMPORTANT? Their interests are dif ferent from the interests of the American people as a whole Can shape public opinion Can mobilize at a “ grass roots” level Influential in Congress Iron Triangle
WHAT ARE SOME MAJOR INTEREST GROUPS?Business Groups Causes National Restaurant - ACLU Association - Sierra Club Chamber of Commerce Promote Specific GroupsLabor Groups - NAACP AFL-CIO - AARP NEA Religious OrganizationsAgricultural Groups - Anti-Defamation League The Farm Bureau - Christian Coalition National Farmers Union Public Interest GroupsProfessional Groups - League of Women Voters American Medical Association - Common Cause American Bar Association