Civil Involvement Essay

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Civic Involvement and Public Policy Changes
Introduction
  I. Grass root movements
  a. Protests
i. Women’s rights
  b. Hunger strikes
ii. Cesar Chavez and UFW
  c. Marches
iii. Civil Rights

  II. Lobbying
  a. Indirect Lobbying
  b. Direct Lobbying
Conclusion

Karina Hernandez
James Goss
U.S Government 2305
April 22, 2011
Civic Involvement and Public Policy Changes
According to john Locke’s social contract theory “governments derive their legitimacy from the consent of the governed [and] this consent is granted in the form of a ‘social contract’ or agreement by the people to be obedient to the laws” (Thompson 279). If this is the case, then the people have the right to express their disagreement with current policies that the government has enacted or will enact. More often than not people get involved in issues when they are in disagreement with the status quo (Verba   2001). There are several form of political participation, including, grass root movements (marches, hunger strikes, protests), lobbying and formal involvement (mailing letters, phone calls and voting), that can inform the politicians about the opinion of their constituents.
Grassroots Movements
The United States Constitution and Bill of Rights grant citizens guaranteed rights that allow participation, activism and mass mobilization (Shea, Green and Smith 414). These rights apply to all American citizens today but this has not always been the case, for example, women were excluded from voting until 1920. The women’s movement began on July 20, 1848 with the Declaration of Sentiments during the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. In it the political, civil, social and religious rights of women were addressed. The women were led by Jane Hunt and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who were acting out of frustration from being excluded from the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London after traveling there from the United States simply due to their gender....

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