What were your impressions of the participants and the process? What information did you gain from the event?

For this assignment you will directly observe government in action. You will have to find a government meeting, attend it, and report on your visit.

First, you must find a meeting. You might select from among the following types of meetings:

  • a city council, town board, or county legislature meeting;
  • a school district or local school board meeting;
  • a special public hearing (run your choice by me first); or
  • a College of Lake County Board Meeting.

I HIGHLY recommend selecting your own town or village, much more interesting that way!

To find a meeting you can look in your local newspaper for notices of meetings, find the government office in the phone book and call for information, or check on the World Wide Web (most governments have Web sites – remember your Democracy Kit assignment?  You should have the website there).

Second, attend the event. Take notes with an eye toward writing the essay described below.

Third, write a 2 – 3 page essay in which you reflect on your experience. Your essay should be in two parts:

1. You should describe the event. What was the setting?  The purpose of the meeting? Which officials were in attendance? Were there other participants? What was the format or structure? Was there opportunity for public comment? Was your presence noted? If so, how were you received? Make sure you select at least two agenda items and describe them.

2. What were your impressions of the participants and the process?  What information did you gain from the event? What did this event teach you about the political process? Would you attend another public meeting? Why or why not?

Make sure to attach a copy of the agenda for the meeting to the end of your essay or provide a link to an on-line agenda.

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