Other ideas for civic engagement:
1. Learn about the responsibilities of elected officials.
Talk to one or two elected officials in your community,such as – mayor, county commissioner, city council member, and township board member. As some questions about the position, the services they are responsible for providing, challenges they face, etc.
2. Follow a local issue.
Read your local newspaper or follow local social media carefully to help you follow an issue of current concern. Talk to family members and your friends about their opinions on the issue. After you have followed the issue for a while, has your opinion changed Do you see any ways that you might share your opinions on these issues with the local government officials that are dealing with it?
3. Attend a city council, township board, school board, or county commission meeting.
These are public meetings so all citizens are welcome to attend and observe the proceedings. Meeting schedules are posted on their respective websites.
5. Familiarize yourself with your state senator or representative’s committee assignments.
Learn more about State Government by reading the Citizen’s Guide to State Government from the Michigan Legislature website. See if you can determine what the committees do, the bills the committee is currently addressing, and the chairpersons of the committees.
6. Become familiar with the Michigan House/Senate districts in which you live.
Note that district boundaries and numbers are different at the state and federal level. Knowing how large, populous, and similar or diverse your districts are will promote understanding of how your legislators operate, the pressures they have to respond to and perhaps why they do some of the things they do. Consider: the demographic diversity of residents in the district, the diversity of the tax base, population increases or decreases since the last census, any changes to district boundaries in the past ten years.
For More Information
Darren Bagley, 4-H Youth Development Educator
MSU Extension-Genesee County
605 N. Saginaw (corner of University Blvd), Suite 1A
Flint, MI 48502
tel: (810) 244-8515; fax: (810) 341-1729