COVID Adjustment: Since we’re actively discouraging crowds, this assignment wil
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COVID Adjustment: Since we’re actively discouraging crowds, this assignment will now just be done online using the video stream from the meeting of your choice. The assignment remains the same, but you won’t need to attend in person, nor will you have a signed agenda to submit.***
This project requires that you attend an official public meeting in your community. There are a variety of meetings that take place all the time: city council, city boards/commissions, school boards, county boards, etc. Given the multitude of communities (and therefore options) in the area, I’m not giving you a list — look to your local city government webpage for a listing of your local meetings. If you are having trouble finding something, I’m happy to help you individually.
***Please note: Since you have pretty much the full semester to plan for this, and the fact that meetings are held at various times and days (need an evening meeting, they have those… during the day, have those, too… need a weekend? tougher to find, but Saturday meetings happen as well), the “I don’t have time for this” will not be an acceptable excuse. Plan ahead!***
What you need to do:
Go to the meeting
Get a copy of the meeting agenda
Observe the meeting, take some notes, participate in it if you wish or if this is something you engage in regularly (in which case, go you!)
After (or before, if that works) the meeting, get a member of the council or board to sign your agenda
Write up your observations and thoughts in a short paper to submit (content requirements below)
Scan or take a photo of your signed agenda to submit
Submit your agenda and paper below
What your paper needs to include:
What meeting you went to (which organization?)
The general purpose of the organization
A rough estimate of the number of people who attended the meeting (general public, don’t include the board members or staff)
Major issue(s) discussed
Contentious issues and points of disagreement
Were there opportunities for public input or involvement? Were these taken advantage of?
How did the members of the council respond to that public input?
Your impressions — given that this is your government at work, are you satisfied with the process? Are there things you would change?
A meeting in Texas in the DFW area