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by and large, bleeding disorder organizations have made great strides in working to become more active in civic engagement. It’s pretty remarkable that organizations with such small numbers of people have been able to coordinate state advocacy days and other gatherings to attempt to protect the lives in our community. It is vitally important to gather as many people in our local affected communities as possible to show that our issues are serious and we are serious about our issues so one area of improvement I see is to engage absolutely everyone who is affected with a bleeding disorder and try to at least get them on a roster so that more people can participate in civic engagement as their schedule allows.
Overall, I would say awareness is the biggest hurdle to getting involved with civic life. We all get caught up in the earthly day to day activities and so we often don’t have time to focus on things that may seem very much out of our control and we lose track of what is going on above us. One way to overcome this could be to focus on specific issues and engage the communities that those issues affect directly. Building awareness brings people in the community back to the center of the issue and allows people to provide the unique input that is needed for issues to be addressed.
We are all “watchdogs”. I would assert the only criteria for being a watchdog is an interest in the organization you are watching, some limited knowledge of the system the organization is operating in, and a willingness/ability to bark if necessary.
I agree that determining whether an executive order is an abuse of administrative power will align with your personal interests. I also agree that it seems that executive orders have increased over the past few administrations which means the executive is exercising more and more power relative to the powers of the other branches but it seems that due to the fact that executive orders can be overridden by the court or by congress, that they aren’t exactly an unchecked power, although they may divert extra time and energy into trying to undo them.May 21, 2019 at 5:04 pm in reply to: Module 2.4.5: Branches of Government, Legislative (Due May 10) #46628
in deed, Congressional hearings are a way for committee members to gather information from non-committee experts on pertinent issues related to the committee or subcommittee. the Congressional Budget Office is expected to present information about the side effects of a single payer system tomorrow to the House Budget Committee.May 21, 2019 at 4:49 pm in reply to: Module 2.4.4: Branches of Government, Legislative (Due May 3) #46627
Last month, the House Rules Committee held the first hearing on a single-payer system in the US. I don’t exactly know how or why the Rules Committee became the first stage for this debate but it is obviously very important to the bleeding disorder community. Tomorrow, May 22nd, the House Budget Committee will hear more about the budget implications of a single-payer system. I am told the House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing in the near future as well. The Energy and Commerce Committee (subcommittee on health) oversees a lot of healthcare issues including private and public insurance but has so far declined to hold any hearings on ‘Medicare for all’.May 9, 2019 at 3:39 pm in reply to: Module 2.4.2: Branches of Government, Legislative (Due April 19) #46454
Is it fair that each state gets 2 Senators regardless of the state鈥檚 population? Why or why not?
It is absolutely fair that each state gets two senators. It is the precise reason we have a Bi-cameral system with the House being represented based on population and the States being represented equally in the senate. What would be the incentive of Wyoming or North Dakota joining or staying in the union if they weren’t represented equally to California and New York at some federal level?
4. If the average size of a House of Representative鈥檚 district is 700,000 constituents, can the Congressman or Congresswoman effectively represent everyone in their district? Why or why not?
Obviously, it is impossible to represent 700,000 individual points of view at the same time. Because the majority of people are indifferent or ignorant to most issues, As an individual, it is important to make your point of view heard because you are the only one who can advocate for your point of view. If more people are vocal about their points of view, (hopefully) congresspeople will have a better understanding of how their constituents feel about a given issue and will act accordingly. I don’t know if expanding the volume or complexity of the house of representatives would make more voices heard or just make the whole process more cumbersome.May 7, 2019 at 3:35 pm in reply to: Module 2.4.1: Branches of Government, Legislative (Due April 12) #46420
I don’t feel that congress has too much or too little power per se and I agree that as our country stays so evenly divided by the two party system, congressional power has not been used appropriately to benefit the people. Policy becomes so gridlocked by members voting strictly on party lines that less and less is being done to move our country forward.March 14, 2019 at 7:20 pm in reply to: Module 2.1: Branches of Government, Intro (Due March 15) #45843
I think working in the Legislative branch would be the most rewarding. Having the power to declare war while trying to balance the will of local constituents and national lobbyists and writing laws that affect everyone would never leave me thinking I hadn’t done enough in a day.
Dana, I agree completely that people need to be educated about not only the issues but how government responds to the issues. Do you think that an elected official of a two mega party system can ever be truly aligned with an individuals values or even a majority of individuals values?
Popular sovereignty is the idea that “the people” hold supreme power over a nation. To my knowledge, The USA was the first to successfully implement a system of government that reflected this idea, though at the time, “the people” didn’t include women, slaves, Catholics, Jews, Quakers, or those without sufficient property. The build up to the civil war was the first time the term was put to the test when congress decided new western territories acquired from Mexico could decide for themselves whether they would tolerate slavery or not. While Nebraska was firmly grasped as a free state, settlers of Missouri rushed in to Kansas to try to influence it to become a slave state. Much violence erupted and the time would be known as Bleeding Kansas. This showed one of the true dilemmas of Popular Sovereignty. I am reminded of a quote from the movie, “The Patriot” when Mel Gibson’s character said, “Why should I trade one tyrant 3000 miles away for 3000 tyrants one mile away…An elected legislature can trample a man’s rights as easily as the King can.” And he could be right! If the term “Popular” doesn’t reflect a territory’s entire population, how can legislatures be expected to truly be servants of the sovereign people? And who is to decide who is eligible to be Sovereign? Should Quakers be considered people? How about Children?
Now, I’m not saying we should ask Queen Elizabeth if she would take us back and I’m not saying we should hand every toddler a ballot but I am saying that Popular Sovereignty is a not quite a perfect democratic philosophy. The role of Popular Sovereignty is different today than it was in the time of Bleeding Kansas. Voter eligibility is obviously much higher but many people still do not have the right to vote and of the people that do have the right to vote, only half regularly exercise that right. The challenge for popular sovereignty in modern times is how do we assure everyone has a voice and how do we assure everyone has fair information on how to direct that voice? We can’t require people to vote but as advocates, we can show people why it’s important to.