Citizenship Project

Overview

As citizens of the United States we are guaranteed rights under our constitution including the right to participate in our government. This participation entails responsibilities to our country and our fellow citizens. One of those responsibilities is that citizens be both educated and informed on the issues that affect our society. The purpose of this project is to introduce students to how people exercise their rights and the ways in which government functions.

 

This project constitutes 20% of the semester grade and is aimed at introducing students to the duties of a citizen in a democratic society. It contains some required elements and some elective options. Students will have choices in how to meet the requirements of this project by earning a total of 120 points. Students will receive 10 points for each verified hour of some activities and a flat point value for others.

 Citizenship Project Planning Guide

 

Requirements (1 of each per quarter)

These are items that must be completed for this project.

Public Meetings 30 pts (1st Amendment

Description:

Students will be attending at least one public meeting per quarter. The purpose of this is to expose them to how business is done by local government and the issues that affect our community. Students may attend any public meeting that is held by a governmental institution. Examples of this would include; city councils, school boards, county supervisors, public commissions, the state legislature, etc. These meeting occur on regular schedules and are open to the public to watch and provide input.

 

Verification: Public Meeting Observation Form          

Public Entity

Purpose

When

Where

Links to Agendas

SRCS School Board

Sets policies and approves actions of school administration.

2nd and 4th Wednesday of Every Month at 6pm

City Council Chambers, City Hall, 100 Santa Rosa Avenue

Agendas

Santa Rosa City Council

Sets policies and approves actions of city management.

Regular meetings of the City Council are usually held each Tuesday (there is no City Council meeting on a Tuesday that follows a legal holiday OR on the fourth Tuesday of the month) at 4:00 p.m. 

City Council Chambers, City Hall, 100 Santa Rosa Avenue

Agendas

County Supervisors

Sets policies and approves actions of county management.

Each Tuesdays beginning at 8:30 AM

Supervisor’s Chambers

Sonoma County Administration Building

575 Administration Drive, Room 102 A

Agendas

County Boards, Commissions and Committees

See individual entity for details

See individual entity for details

See individual entity for details

See individual entity for details

State Legistlature

Makes laws for State of California

See website for details.

See website for details.

See website for details.

 

Elective Options (30 points per quarter)

These are elective options that can be used to fulfill the elective requirement of the project.

 

Voting in and/or registering for a government run election (Local, State, or Federal) = 30pts

Description:

This is a fundamental right of all U.S. citizens. You must be 18 years or older and register to vote before the election. Who you vote for is up to you, that you vote is your civic duty.

Verification: Proof of Registration and Ballot Stubs

                Online Voter Registration

            Resources:

Sonoma County Registrar of Voters  Public entity that handles all elections in Sonoma County.

Smart Voter Allows you to look up information on all contests and candidates in your area.

Additional Public Meeting 30pts

Description:

This is another public meeting of your choice.

 

Verification: Public Meeting Observation Form

Resources:

 

            See above for details.

Court Observations 10pts per hour (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th Amendements)

Description:

One of the most important rights that is guaranteed by our constitution is the right to defend oneself. Trials must be held publicly and anyone can attend. This will be an opportunity for students to see our criminal justice system in action. Most trials in our county begin at 1pm and to observe them will require that a student miss 5th and 6th period. If they choose this option, they must get prior approval from their parents and communicate it to the attendance office in advance of missing class. They will also be responsible for contacting those teachers and making arrangements for any work they miss.

 

Verification: Court Observation Form

Resources:

Sonoma County Superior Court

Reporting on a Rally or Demonstration 30 pts   (1st Amendment - Freedom of Assembly and Press)

Description:

Students may choose to participate in or observe a political rally or demonstration. Students will be required to gather information about the event along with a photograph of them in attendance to be included in a newspaper article that they will write.

 

Verification: Demonstration Verification Form

Resources:

            If you do not have connections yourself, please ask Mr. Brennan for assistance in getting in touch with the group of your choice.

Campaign Volunteer 10 pts per hour

Description:

Students may choose to work for a candidate, political party or political movement in their efforts to win an election.

 

Verification: Campaign Volunteer Form

Resources:

            If you do not have connections yourself, please ask Mr. Brennan for assistance in getting in touch with the group of your choice.

 

 

Precinct Poll Worker = 60 points divided into both quarters

Description:

The Sonoma County Registrar of Voters has implemented a "Student Precinct Officer Program." California State law allows eligible students to be appointed to serve as Precinct Officers. As such, students will participate in the operation of a polling place on Election Day. This will require students to miss school on the day of election. Students participating in this must get prior approval from their parents and let the attendance office and other teachers know in advance.

Verification: Official Certificate

            Resources:

            http://www.sonoma-county.org/regvoter/spopgm.htm

Successful Publication of Views on Public Policy in Media Outlet = 30pts

Description:

Participating in the discussion of the public agenda is a fundamental right of all members of our society and is guaranteed in the 1st Amendment. In this activity you will write an opinion piece on a topic that you think the public should know about. Make sure you know the length requirement for the media source you choose. Letters to the PD must be shorter than 300 words. Close to Home articles can be up to 650 words. You will earn points only if the media source publishes your article.

Verification: Published article from news source.

Resources:

            Press Democrat: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/section/opinion02