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Hannah Werchan

on 13 December 2013

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American Government 1.05 DBA Replacement Assignment
Constitutional Principles Pt. 1
Representative government:
The United States is run by an elected group of officials, or a representative government/democracy. Since I am a United States citizen I am personally affected by the choices and decisions that they make, even if it slowly trickles down through the levels of government.

A limited government:
A limited government allows for the local economy and political elections to be largely influenced by local citizens. For example, limited government affects me immediately from the perspective of last years’ fluoride campaign that was happening in specifically Portland. Even though I was not personally participating in this Election, if the initiative would pass I would then have fluoride in my water supply.

How Does Government Affect YOU?
Last spring, Portland was a part of a fluoride initiative that was then voted on at the city level. The main goal would be to fluoridate the city and surrounding area’s drinking water, a key point of the campaign would be that by fluoridating the water supply those who didn’t have access to health care would have a greater chance at having healthy teeth. However, because this would be the complete fluoridation of all of Portland’s water supply, and at the time I didn’t have the right to vote, I would be participate by drinking water that could possibly impact my health long term. In protest to the possible fluoridation of Portland’s water, the vote has been pushed to March of 2014 so that further research on how it affects the body can be done.
Constitutional Principles Pt. 2
Consent of the governed:
Consent of the governed does not affect me immediately, but the general idea does. I am currently not of age to vote, so my personal opinion cannot be considered when as a nation we elect a representative.

Rule of law:
Rule of law can be found in any situation in which there are ideals or responsibility that needs to be fulfilled, and as a product rule of law is enforced. Personally I can find rule of law in my place of work or in my classes, it is an idea that as citizens we grow up on and it is the law the changes over the years in preparation to being held accountable to government and federal laws when I become of age.

Individuale Rights:
Individual rights are the ethics in which as citizens we are held to, it’s freedom of speech and movement. All of which affect me immediately because I am a citizen of the United States and I am justified these rights as a product.

Do you think the criteria for establishing citizenship are too restrictive or not strict enough?
I think that the criteria for establishing citizenship is at the point where any further revision added would be too much for applicants to efficiently go through the process. The criteria as is seems to be the perfect medium for those going through the naturalization process since the success rate is at 92%. However, because so many of those who go through the naturalization process are coming to the United States for work opportunities with little to no money, the mandatory fees should be placed on a sliding scale so that no one is discriminated for their financial situations.
Do you think civic and political participation is important?
Civic and political participation is important because so much of our government depends on citizen’s participation and understanding. For example, consent to govern is a direct interaction between the various levels of government and the citizens of any specific area and/or nation. The entire idea of consent of the governed is that the government needs the justification from the citizens, without the previous knowledge and understanding in civics we as a nation cannot accurately contribute
Do you think Americans are involved enough in their communities?
I think that Americans are fairly detached from their own communities in some ways and really disconnected in others. From the perspective of interacting with those you live near, that’s near non-existent. The American culture is to ignore those you live near and detach from those you interact with, but become involved with the issues you feel strongly about. For example, I am someone that enjoys supporting small businesses, specifically those that also support the cultivation of various communities within a neighborhood or area. There is a café in the Portland south tabor neighborhood that is a community center, specifically it’s a café for parent with young children but it doubles as a job training site where they teach both teenagers and adult how to make coffee and the ins n’ outs of keeping a kitchen up and running. In the grander scheme of things this is only a small blip on the Portland radar, but it also nurturing the idea of neighbors connecting with one another and nurturing relationships with others where there wouldn’t have been before. This café creates a place where community can be nurtured instead of the commonly detached state that we often find Americans when considering their relation to communities.
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