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Ch. 5 The Duties and Responsibilities of Citizenship. Duties and Responsiblities. A Citizen’s Legal Duties. Each of us belongs to many communities: - neighborhood - town, city - school - church - state - country

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a citizen s legal duties
A Citizen’s Legal Duties
  • Each of us belongs to many communities:

- neighborhood

- town, city

- school

- church

- state

- country

  • As community members, we have many responsibilities – things we should do or obligations that we fulfill voluntarily
a citizen s legal duties1
A Citizen’s Legal Duties
  • As citizens, we also have duties – things we are required to do.
  • We must fulfill duties required by national, state, and local governments or face fines or imprisonment.
  • Obey the Law
    • Serve specific purposes, such as to help people get along, prevent accidents, and see that resources are used fairly
  • Pay Taxes

- Government uses tax moneyto pay police, pave roads, and maintain armed forces. People pay a percentage of what they bring in, or on the sale of goods or even property.

  • Defend the Nation

- In the U.S. all men aged 18-25 must register with the government in case the country needs to draft, or call up men for military service; today military service is voluntary.

  • Serve in Court

- Every adult citizen must be prepared to serve on a jury or as a witness at a trial if called to do so.

  • Attend School

- Most states require young people to attend school until the age of 16.

civic responsibilities
Civic Responsibilities
  • Be Informed

- Know what the government is doing so that you can voice your opinion.

- People can learn about issues and leaders by reading print publications, listening to news on the radio or T.V., talking o people, and searching the internet

- Be aware of your rights

civic responsibilities1
Civic Responsibilities
  • Speak Up and Vote

- Remember, the government exists to serve you, but you must make your concerns known.

- Calling, writing, or sending e-mails to your elected representatives; joining political parties; working for a cause


civic responsibilities2
Civic Responsibilities
  • Respect Other’s Rights

- people must respect public property and the property of others.

- vandalizing and littering are not only disrespectful but also a crime.

civic responsibilities3
Civic Responsibilities
  • Respect Diversity

- Although we may disagree with people or disapprove of their lifestyles, these people have an equal right to their beliefs and practices

- Tolerance means respecting and accepting others, regardless of their beliefs, practices, or differences.

- Diversity in our country is a strength, all citizens are equal and entitled to be treated the same.

civic responsibilities4
Civic Responsibilities
  • Contribute to the Common Good

- Contributing time, effort, and money to help others and to improve the community life.

- Be an active participant in your community

citizens and the community
Citizens and the Community
  • Americans do volunteer work to help make their communities better places to live.
  • A community is a group of people who share the same interests and concerns.
  • Many volunteers today are students between grades 6-12.
citizens and the community1
Citizens and the Community
  • Government at all levels, provide many needs for the people, but resources are limited.
  • Governments are bureaucracies – complex systems with many departments, rules, and people in the chain of command.
  • This often makes it difficult for government to respond quickly to social problems.
citizens and the community2
Citizens and the Community
  • Good citizens of this country are concerned about the welfare – the health, prosperity, and happiness of all members of the community.
  • Some people participate in the community by leading a scout troop; others mentor school children; visit nursing homes; and collecting canned goods. Ex. PTA
citizens and the community3
Citizens and the Community
  • Volunteerism is the practice of offering your time and services to others without payment.
  • Instead of their time, many Americans contribute money to charity
  • In 2005, people gave more than $250 billion to charity. Average 2% of their income.
  • Most came from average individual citizens, some came from large corporations.
citizens and the community4
Citizens and the Community
  • Many companies believe in giving back to the community.
  • Ex. sponsoring a recreational sports team, donating prizes for community fund-raisers, contributing to college scholarships to students
  • Ex. Bentonville, Arkansas – Wal-Mart
citizens and the community5
Citizens and the Community
  • When it comes to volunteering, people are more likely to participate when they feel a personal connection to a cause or know others involved ex. PTA
  • There are more than 1 million registered charities with the federal government; many are small and locally based.
  • All are dependant on ordinary people giving their time.
citizens and the community6
Citizens and the Community
  • More than half of all U.S. middle schools and high schools now arrange community service for students from 6-12 grade.
  • Several hundred school districts now require high school students to volunteer a set number of hours to earn a graduation diploma.
citizens and the community7
Citizens and the Community
  • The federal government has created national volunteer programs:
  • 1961, John F. Kennedy challenged Americans to fight poverty, disease, and war in the poorest corners of the world.
  • Established the Peace Corps which now has 180,000 members in 138 countries.
  • Includes advising farmers, teaching children, vaccinations against disease, etc.
citizens and the community8
Citizens and the Community
  • AmeriCorps was established in 1993. 50,000 Americans participate.
  • Domestically help disaster victims, clean up polluted rivers, assist individuals with disabilities.
  • In exchange, people receive a small living allowance and money to help pay for college.
citizens and the community9
Citizens and the Community
  • Senior Corps established in 1965, is a volunteer program for people aged 55 and older. Consists of 3 main programs:

- Foster grandparents for children with special needs

- Senior companions for other seniors

- The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (meals on wheels) or other neighborhood activities

citizens and the community10
Citizens and the Community
  • USA Freedom Corps was a new program implemented by George W. Bush which brought together all three programs:

Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Senior Corps

  • Meant to focus on three areas of need:

- responding to national emergencies

- rebuilding our communities

- extending American compassion around the world

citizens and the community11
Citizens and the Community
  • By banding together, we truly serve ourselves.
  • The benefits of volunteering:

- make our communities better places to live

- gain opportunities to learn, make friends, improve skills

- gain the satisfaction of knowing that a difference has been made in someone else’s life.