_____-___________ ___________ _______ also play a significant role: The public elects legislators and executives; the media influences policy through its inherent agenda-setting function; parties influence policy through their role of drafting and electing candidates; and organized interest groups lobby elected officials and non-elected policymakers (e.g., agency staff). Policy, then, is a result of institutional processes influenced by non-institutional actors. The Media - The media are influential to policy outcomes because they help define social realty. California politics relies on the media to distribute political messages. Political Parties - Political parties are distinct from other citizen organizations. Rather than attempt to influence existing policymakers, parties seek to get their own members elected to policymaking positions. While interest groups seek influence on specific policy issues, parties seek influence on a wide spectrum of policy issues. Parties develop platforms, draft candidates, campaign on behalf of candidates, and mobilize voters. In short, parties work to bring citizens together under a common banner. Interest Groups - Interest groups are a fundamental partner in policymaking. Citizens participate in the policy process through communication with policymakers. Such communication takes place individually (e.g., letters to elected representatives) and collectively. Interest groups facilitate collective communication. The most common resources include bureaucratic knowledge, a network of contacts, citizen backing (size of constituency), an ability to make political contributions, and an ability to mount a public relations (media) campaign. Clearly, no group utilizes these resources. But the ability of an organized group to utilize one or more of these resources is critical for policy influence.
non-institutional policy actors