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Name: ______________________________! !

Mod: ________
Date: _______________________________
Working to keep your freedom

Some Americans take their freedom for granted, thinking that because they were born free, they will
remain free. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Freedom requires good citizenship. A free nation
whose citizens refuse to accept their responsibilities as citizens risk losing their freedom to a small
self-interested group who may take control. Letʼs look at how you can carry out your responsibilities
as a citizen in this country.

Stop and Jot: What is needed to maintain a democracy?

Following your responsibilities as a citizen

Stay informed
For our government to represent us effectively, we must be able to inform our representatives about
the policies we prefer. Therefore, the first step to good citizenship is understanding the problems
confronting our nation and how these problems should be addressed in our representative
democracy. To be informed you can:
- read newspaper and magazines that discuss the issues confronting our country.
- listen to speeches made by your legislators and the president.
- read the information posted on Web sites maintained by your representatives
- continue to learn about our system of government by taking a course in school and reading books
on the subject.

Stop and Jot: How can you learn about what government is doing?

Staying Involved
Voting is one of the most important ways a person can stay involved in our government. Does this
mean that if you are too young to vote, there is nothing for you to do? No. As an informed citizen, you
can involve yourself by:
- writing to your legislators and letting them know your opinion on important issues
- helping, if you can, in the campaigns of candidates who support your views on important issues
- informing people who are old enough to vote about important issues
- with your parentsʼ permission, joining a special interest group that supports a goal that is important
to you

Stop and Jot: What are ways you can influence government decisions?

What is the most direct way you can impact decisions? Explain
Name: ______________________________! ! Mod: ________
Date: _______________________________
Encouraging other to learn and participate

Ours is a representative democracy. That means, the more people who are informed and involved in
the governing process, the better our representatives can represent us. Therefore, you need to
encourage others to learn about our government and understand the issues confronting it. Talk to
your friends about issues facing our country. Inform them who their representatives are and how they
can make their views known to their representatives.

Our government is constantly changing. The ideals remain the same, but the problems and the
people change. To keep our country independent and prosperous, our government will have to meet
many challenges. It is up to you as a citizen of our next generation of leaders to be ready to take
your leadership position in our system. Good government begins with you.

Stop and Jot: What is important for many people to be informed? Explain your answer.

Recall and Recap Questions:


1. What is the name of the Unit?

2. What does civic mean?

3. What are some ways you can be involved in government?

4. We can vote in two ways. What are they?

5. What is an initiative?

6. What is a referendum?

7. What is the main difference between an initiative and referendum?

8. Initiative, referendum and recalls are all examples of what kind of democracy?