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Applied Civics 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 along with Current Events represents 15% 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 for the semester, 60 per quarter. Students must provide verification of each activity to get credit.

Example:

 

Quarter 1

 Requirement Choice Verification Pts

Meeting

30 pts

School Board Meeting February 10 Public Meeting Verification form 30

Elective

30 pts

Pre-Register to vote

Printout of confirmation 30

 

Quarter 2 

 Requirement Choice Verification Pts

Meeting

30 pts

City Council Meeting April 10 Public Meeting Verification form 30

Elective

30 pts

Published letter to the Editor Printout of article or url link 30

Applied Civics Project Planning Guide Worksheet

 

Public Meetings 30 Pts (Choose one per quarter) 

Description:

Students will be attending at least one of the following public meetings of elected officials 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 an elected governmental institution. Acceptable institutions include; city councils, school boards, county supervisors, and the state legislature. They do not have to be for Santa Rosa, but must be one of the listed types of institutions. These meetings occur on regular schedules and are open to the public to watch and provide input. You do not need to go for the entire time of the meeting, but should stay at least one hour. If possible, try to go during the time of public comments.

Note: Appointed commissions, school site councils, homeowner associations, private organizations, etc. are not acceptable for this requirement.

Verification:

Resources:

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 Zoom links posted 15 mins prior to meeting.

Zoom Link Information

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

State Legislature

Makes laws for State of California

See website for details.

See website for details.

Calendars, Hearings, Events

U.S. Congress

Makes laws for the Country

See website for details.

See website for details.

House Floor Live Video Activities

Committee Hearings Video

 

Elective Options 30 Pts (choose one per quarter)

 

Public Speaking

Description: Public speaking in the democratic process is a basis for the 1st Amendment's freedom of speech protection. This may occur at any public event. This will also satisfy one of the A-G public speaking requirements for current events.

Verification: 

 

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

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 Online Voter Registration Copy of receipt or screenshot uploaded to Google Classroom.
  • Proof of current registration Verify Voter Registration Screenshot uploaded to Google Classroom.
  • Ballot stubs for voting. Selfie with your ballot ready to mail and uploaded to Google Classroom. DO NOT SHOW THE FILLED OUT BALLOT 

Resources:

 

Additional Meetings of Elected Bodies or Other Public Groups

Description: This is another public meeting of your choice. It can be one of the meetings of elected bodies listed above or meetings of other public groups such as public commissions, interest groups, or other such groups that advise or lobby their elected officials.

Verification:

Resources: See public meeting chart above for details.

 

Court Observations 

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:

Resources:

 

Reporting on a Rally or Demonstration    

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:

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 

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

Verification:

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 from program uploaded to Google Classroom.

Resources:

 

Successful Publication of Views on Public Policy in Media Outlet 

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. Either a picture of the article from the print edition, or the link to the electronic version uploaded to Google Classroom.

Resources:

 
Letters to the Editor

Email letters of no more than 200 words to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please include your full name and home city for publication. Letters must be original and written exclusively for The Press Democrat. Letters that do not include a home address and daytime phone number will not be considered for publication. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

 
CLOSE TO HOME

Email local opinion pieces (no more than 600 words) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Commentaries become property of The Press Democrat. They may be republished in all Press Democrat media.