Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge

Requirement 2 - Government Organization

b. Chart the organization of your local or state government. Show the top offices and tell whether they are elected or appointed.

Requirement 3 - Public Meetings

Do the following:

a. Attend a meeting of your city, town, or county council or school board; Or attend a municipal, county, or state court session.

b. Choose one of the issues discussed at the meeting where a difference of opinions was expressed, and explain to your counselor why you agree with one opinion more than you do another one.

Requirement 4 - Community Issues

Choose an issue that is important to the citizens of your community; then do the following:

a. Find out which branch of local government is responsible for this issue.

b. With your counselor's and a parent's approval, interview one person from the branch of government you identified in requirement 4a. Ask what is being done about this issue and how young people can help.

c. Share what you have learned with your counselor.

Study Resources - Government Organization

Study Resources - Public Meetings

Syracuse City School Board:

At the top right, there is a "Meetings" tab; the list of meetings is at the left. Click on one that has already happened, and you'll be able to click on the agenda. To watch the meeting, the link is given at the end of the text at the right above the agenda.

Onondaga County Legislature:

This is a little harder. You can click on a meeting (in blue) to view the agenda and presentations, and then click on the audio/visual at the right to download the video (they're about 70 MB in size) and watch them.

Syracuse City/Common Council:

This is like the county. The list of sessions is organized by date. You can click on a meeting (in blue) to view the agenda and presentations, and then go to the youtube link to find and watch the meeting. Another option is to watch one of the study sessions or committee meetings.

Question: Which issue do you care about?

Community Development

Green Smart Growth and Sustainability

Parks and Open Space

Community Violence and Youth

Education Equity and Achievement

Access to Jobs and Economic Development

Air and Water Quality

Race Relations

Refugee/Immigrant Populations

Access to healthy food

Quality legal representation for those awaiting trial

Criminal Justice System including fair treatment of youth

Police behavior and social justice

Affordability of Housing/Housing Quality

Access to Health Care

Poverty and Racism

Infrastructure Needs (Water, Roads, Transport)

Something Else