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CUNY Brooklyn College California Virtual Digital Government Summit Public Event Paper

Assignment Overview: The public event paper assignment requires you to go beyond your typical role as a student and step out as an ‘active citizen’ in the public realm. You will attend a ‘public meeting’ of an elected or representative government body held during this semester and write a 4-5 page response paper about the meeting/activity that you attended. Your paper should be proofread, have a title, be double spaced and written in your own words. Papers found to be plagiarized in part or in full will receive a grade of zero.

Instructions: Attend a ‘public meeting’ of an state or local elected or representative government body during this semester! These will be at the California state level or local government level within the state of California You may also try to see if you can attend a court hearing that would be open to the public for viewing during this semester. For courts only you can attend a federal, California state or local court hearing within the State of California. For this semester this activity will need to be likely be virtual as the rules in California and San Francisco for social distancing prohibit large gatherings. Your best choice is to select a legislative or commission meeting at the California state or local level. You can also attend a City College Board of Trustees meeting or local school board in California. You may also choose to attend a City College Board of Trustees meeting during this semester as well. NOTE – Impeachment proceedings will NOT count for this assignment and it must be from this semester!!! Ask ahead of time if you have questions. Address all of the following in your paper:

  1. Descriptive evaluation:
    1. Describe the meeting or activity that you attended.
    2. What did you see and hear?
    3. Did you participate?
      1. If yes, what did you do or say?
      2. If not, why did you choose to not participate and would you in the future
  2. Personal reflection:
    1. What was your reaction to the meeting/activity?
    2. How did the event apply to you?
  3. Analytical evaluation:
    1. Evaluate whether the meeting/activity that you attended exemplified ‘good governance.’? Why or why not?
    2. In other words, did the manner in which the event was conducted exemplify democratic values?

Consider in your evaluation whether or not your event supported or subverted American democracy. There are many definitions of good governance and debate over what it entails. Overall, this concept relates to how public affairs are conducted. Good governance is characterized by participation, transparency, accountability, rule of law, effectiveness, and equity. Address these factors in your paper and evaluation.

(Note – Your evaluation regarding the question of good governance should be the heart of your paper. Make sure to include a summary of your evaluation in the first paragraph of the paper – your thesis – and develop your evaluation in the body of the paper.)

Include an upload copy of handouts of the meeting or event (e.g. agenda)

Appropriate meetings include…….city council meetings, county commission
meetings, California state legislature meetings, public school board meetings, any court hearing conducted in California, any meeting that serves the function of “governance,” (contact me with questions if you are not certain your meeting will qualify)

You may NOT conduct an interview, write about a group that is not elected in public elections, or appointed by elected representatives or a special interest group and have it count for this assignment. Ask early if you have questions.


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