Questions & Answers

Q&A: finding both sides of an issue

Question: What are some good resources for researching the pros and cons of a debate topic?

Answer: 

There are several solid resources that can help you find both sides of an issue. The following guides provide background data and references for more information used in debating many topics:


Q&A: How do I find out the party affiliation of California city council members?

How do I find out the party affiliation of California city council members?

Answer: 

City council offices in California are non-partisan offices, which means no party affiliation is declared. You can try to get this information from news sources or articles that may discuss activities of the council members but unless they specifically state their affiliation, you would be inferring this information.

For background on non-partisan offices in California, see:

  1. California Constitution, Article 2, Voting, Initiative and Referendum and Recall Sec. 6 (a) All judicial, school, county, and city offices,
    including the Superintendent of Public Instruction, shall be
    nonpartisan.
  2. FAQ from the California League of Women Voters
  3. National Association of Counties (NACO), Research Abstract Series, County Elections - Partisan or Non-Partisan? -- State by State, 2007.

For more information, please contact Kris Kasianovitz, International, State and Local Government Information Librarian


Q&A: finding state information and TANF data

I need help locating some data that we are hunting. Specifically, I am interested in finding out the following information for a selected years between 1987 and 2000:

  • The composition of state legislatures (in terms of political parties)
  • Party affiliation of state governors
  • Maximum welfare or TANF rates for families of 3 by state

I’ve found some of the TANF data in various editions of the Green Book put out by the House Ways and Means Committee, but have not been able to locate TANF data for 1987, 1991 or 1993.

Would you mind pointing me to any potential sources of this data?

Answer: 

Below are some resources in which you'll find the necessary information.

lastly, you should be able to find Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) data in the annual TANF report hosted on the US Deptartment of health and human services web site. However, TANF only began in 1997, succeeding the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. I found annual data for TANF in one of our subscription databases called "Proquest Statistical Insight" which can be accessed via http://databases.stanford.edu. You should be able to find data on AFDC as well. Don't forget to look at the citations for the data tables. You may not find exactly the variable for which you're looking, but you'll find the agency that published the data (a very important bit of information for tracking down data from the government!)

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you need further information or help.


Q&A: tracing the history of TRIPS agreement

Question: I am researching on the negotiating history of article 66.2 of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). I would like to find information on debates that preceded adoption of this Article in the Agreement. I have not been able to find any particular thread in the GATT Archive that would enable me trace this history.

Answer: 

Thanks for contacting the GATT archive. Here are a few angles to explore in order to trace that history.


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