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Civic Action Project

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Picture of Ambar
by Ambar - Saturday, 12 April 2014, 11:00 PM
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The youth of America should be involved in policy making because to start off we will be the one's dealing with the positive or negative consequences of the decisions that are made in the present. Not only will we deal with the consequences but being involved in policy making shows that we want to be part of a change for our community. I believe that youth should always have a say because adults usually take charge in most things. Youth should take go ahead and make decisions as well. Being able to be involved in policy making will prepare us for the future, it will help us have an advantage among others. The youth of America should be involved in policy making because we are the future.

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by Karina - Wednesday, 19 March 2014, 05:47 PM
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The youth of America should be involved in policy making because it's thier future and they also have to follow regulations the policy carry's. Youth can say what works for them and what doesnt. That way they'll have an idea. If the youth leaves it up to the elders,they are not hearing us. It makes it unfair for us. We are a newer generation!!

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by Jeremiah - Tuesday, 11 March 2014, 08:32 AM
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Jeremiah Garza
What’s the fuss?
What’s the fuss? Bullying; that’s what’s the fuss. Bullying has always been a part of my life. I’ve been bullied and ill even admit that I have been the bully. As a kid growing up is was hard for me because every day I would go to school and get called “fat” or get called “stupid” and sometimes much worse. People would beat on me because of the raggedy clothing I wore or the shoes that I wore and every day I looked forward to the end of the day because that was when I could go home and not have to deal with it. Sooner or later my parents realized a change in me. They started asking me questions and I never wanted to say. I began to cut my wrists because it was the only thing that made me feel good. Then one day a friend of mine seen the cuts on my arms and he told a counselor. The counselor called me down to the office and I told her everything. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened to me if my friend hadn’t said anything. Would I be here today? If he hadn’t have said anything, I probably would not be here because I was ready to take my own life. It was his act of kindness to go and tell the counselor what had happened that saved me. I still to this day thank him for it.
Bullying is a huge issue today and I have decided to do my project on it. Although I am not really trying to change a policy, I am more or less trying to raise awareness on the subject. What I want to do is sort of a pay it forward type thing. I want to hand out buttons to my classmates with a quote on it that says “pulling someone down will never help you reach the top” and I want them whenever they do a random act of kindness to hand the button to that person and tell them to do that same thing and keep that going. Although this will not eliminate the bullying that is so prominent today, it will at least raise awareness on the subject. Because you never know what an act of kindness could do for someone. It could save a life like it saved mine.

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by Kailarae - Tuesday, 11 March 2014, 08:09 AM
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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction… The chain reaction of evil—hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars—must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”
Dr. King is thought of as one of our nation’s greatest leaders. And his knowledge does not only apply to civil rights. Among many things, it applies to bullying. Bullying is a big problem in our world; it leads to insecurities, depression, and suicide; it breaks people down; it tears apart friendships; it affects every human I have met. I am lucky in that bullying occurs very rarely at RMHS, but I have been to other schools in our community where bullies cause many problems. Here in Poudre School District, and most places in America, there is a strong anti-bullying policy that puts pressure on the victims to fix the problem. At Rocky we don’t leave it at that. We have the Lobo Way, an undefined policy of kindness, courtesy, loyalty, caring, and respect for the people around you. It helps make us aware that all of the people around us- be it our classmates, people in the halls, or teachers- all deserve the same level of respect as you and me. I think that this is why Rocky is one of the best schools and that bullying is not often a problem here. This makes it the perfect place to begin my project. I want to start at Rocky with a public service video announcement, followed by a homeroom activity the next day. Depending on how our community at Rocky responds to this, I would like to then try to introduce this idea of pro-kindness in place of anti- bullying to the rest of PSD, starting with Rocky’s feeder schools. I think that by emphasizing kindness and respect to younger kids in our community that the ideas introduced and the respect we have created in them will grow and spread, just like negativity can spread. We see evidence all the time that Dr. King was right in politics, working places, families, even children playing together. We constantly see evidence that negativity spirals out of control quickly, but any act of kindness, no matter how small, can break the cycle and start a new cycle of respect that will grow the same way. This is the goal of my Civic Action.

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by Tyler - Tuesday, 11 March 2014, 08:03 AM
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According to a Times Article on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, fourteen percent of all prisoners in America are war veterans. I believe this is a morally incorrect statistic. The problem is that a large percentage of returning war veterans are not receiving the necessary help they need in order to be successfully re-integrated into everyday civilian life. According to the New York Times, more active duty personnel die by their own hand than in combat, and 50% of those that have PTSD do not seek out treatment. According to facethefactsusa.org, veterans account for 20% of all U.S. suicides and veterans between the ages of 17-24, primarily those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have suicide rates that are four times higher than that of older veterans. People should care about this because if this problem were given the attention it requires, the amount of veteran suicides would significantly decrease. The number of violent PTSD related outbreaks from veterans would also decrease, reducing the amount of people killed and the amount of veterans in prison. An obvious solution would be to raise awareness of these statistics, either through social media or a newspaper of sorts. Another solution would be to get in touch with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and ask them about the current policies regarding psychological treatment for war veterans. The next course of action would really depend on the information we gather from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. I believe this is a noble topic to pursue and I would very much like to affect change in the area of psychological treatment for veterans.

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by Alex - Wednesday, 5 March 2014, 09:08 AM
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Three out of every four Americans call the war on drugs a complete failure. In four years, more than 35,000 people have been killed due to violence related to the drug cartels. Yet the federal government spends on average, about $20-25 billion dollars on the War on Drugs alone. This is an OUTRAGE, considering Americans hard earned money is going to a war that’s unwinnable. If you want to see where a majority of your tax dollars go, let’s first look at the federal government’s drug budget. They spend on average $20-25 billion dollars every year and that number continues to rise. That breaks down to about $2 billion dollars a month, about $66,666,666.67 every day, about $2,777,777.78 every minute, and about $46,296.30 every second. This number continues to rise every second we are alive and I fear will never go down. There are more corrupt federal agents in the federal government than there are agents that follow the law. Want to know why? Drugs are a great source of profit but that is where the corruption and violence plays a part. Now I am not saying the federal government hasn’t made any progress towards these drug enterprises. But the fact is that they haven’t done enough. For example, the Taliban and Afghan warlords collect nearly half a billion dollars a year from illicit drug farming, production and trafficking, while the FARC in Colombia finances its activities with $300 million a year in illegal drug market. Never mind what the government tells us because they have proven to us that they cannot be trusted. Despite being the birthplace of the global “war on drugs” and having some of the harshest drug penalties, the U.S. has the highest marijuana and cocaine use rates in the world. Now tell me this, do you think America’s “War on Drugs” policy is working……..?

[ Modified: Wednesday, 5 March 2014, 09:09 AM ]
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by Deidre - Monday, 3 March 2014, 08:50 AM
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For my Civil Action Project I decided that I want to enforce a change in the elementary and high school start times. I think it is an issue that high school students are forced to start at 7:30 while elementary school kids do not have to be at school till at least 8:30, when they are already awake long before they start. While high school students could easily sleep until an hour before they wake up. People should care about this issue because if high school students could sleep for at least an hour every morning there would be a significant change in motivation, grades, and overall happiness for the teenagers. Sleep is very important in a teenager’s life, whereas elementary school kids go to bed earlier and wake up earlier and don’t feel tired when they are forced to wake up. Elementary school kids have a lesser workload and less stress so they would be less affected by starting school every day at an earlier time. If high school students could start school at a later time they would be able to get more homework done at night since they could stay up later, many high school students have very busy schedules limiting them to put homework off until they get home at night and they either have to sacrifice school work or sleep. But if they could start later they would be able to balance school work and sleep which would increase grades and school participation. High school students starting later would also give them more energy throughout the day to do more extracurricular activities and or help out the community, which is what everyone wants. One of the main reasons start times are the way they are is because of the bus run times, but if the busses were switched, there wouldn’t have to be a problem. The first step I’m going to take is talk to someone with knowledge as to why the start times are the way they are, and the steps that need to be taken in order to enforce a change. Then hopefully I can talk to someone who can influence the change and help them with the process of switching start times.

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by Jaime - Tuesday, 25 February 2014, 08:48 AM
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The policy I am working on is being able to ride bikes on the sidewalk. Or at least get more people off the street. One of the reasons why we need to be able to let people ride their bikes on the street is to keep the children safe. The closer they are to the street the more likely there will be and accident. Another claim is that everyone has a different skill level. Making people ride on the street with a very low skill level is extremely dangerous. If they happen to swerve is may really scare a driver passing them and cause them to swerve, leading in an accident placing lives in danger. The issue of not being able to ride bikes on sidewalks, as with traffic laws in general, bicycle laws are enforced at the state and local levels. But while bicyclists generally are expected to follow the same traffic laws that apply to motorists, most jurisdictions also have laws that are specific to those operating bicycles on public thoroughfares. State laws and local ordinances also typically include bicycle helmet provisions, rules against riding a bike on the sidewalk, biking while under the influence and other bicycle-specific rules. Riding a bike and having to follow the same traffic laws that apply to motorists is unethical. You don’t have the protection the the motor vehicle has and not only that but you are going at a much lower speed. Most state and local ordinances prohibit bicyclists over a certain age (13 in San Francisco, for example) from biking on sidewalks, although bikers must always yield to pedestrians. However, some local ordinances allow bicycling on sidewalks and even prohibit bikes on certain streets. Having such laws like the age limit in San Francisco is a great step in the right direction with having people with a lower skill level be able to ride on the sidewalks.I want to work on this because i have been in trouble for riding my bike on the sidewalk because i fell unsafe riding so close to traffic. I shouldn't have to comply to a law that I feel puts me in more danger. This is extremely important because laws need to make everyone feel safe. Most state and local ordinances prohibit bicyclists over a certain age (13 in San Francisco, for example) from biking on sidewalks, although bikers must always yield to pedestrians. Having an age limit is a great thing to have because by then most kids can ride a bike safe enough to not swerve into traffic.Some of the first few things I would do is start talking to the local law enforcement and ask them how they handle people biking on the sidewalk. I’ll ask for their opinion on letting people ride their bikes on the side walk. Even though Fort Collins does have very nice bike trails, for those cities that don't I was thinking about having sidewalks widened for bikers in parts of the street where the bike lane gets too narrow.

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by Braedon - Tuesday, 25 February 2014, 08:46 AM
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The Trans-pacific partnership is a new policy in works right now, acts like the trans-pacific partnership are in talks despite the multiple unconstitutional protocols that are contained in the plan. In its current state, the intellectual property portion of the act would enact stronger media control, heavily changing many popular social media sites restricting almost any photo or video on the site. This policy would have an unintended side effect that would restrict the approval and application of medication manufacturers for new and upcoming medical treatment. This act in its current form would be able to restrict knowledge to the public, destroying the neutrality of the internet in its current form. The Trans-pacific partnership in its current would be able to cause major harm to the general population in which the likes that world hasn't seen before. For the best interest of the people, this policy needs to be ratified in order to not give so much control to the government and major corporations to keep an unbiased, open internet for the people of the world. The policy in its current form would change the internet forever, allowing major censorship and privacy intrusion by the United States government and major corporations to anyone, no matter where you live. Major censorship will be enforced to the seven continents. There are many solutions in which could make this policy work for everyone, the first one, would be altering the policy to come in terms to keep the internet neutral for everyone who uses that. The more drastic move would be to completely eradicate this policy, and start a new policy from nothing, but this is not a logical or effective move. Change can only happen if enough Americans are brought to the knowledge of this policy, and they do something about it.

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by Drake - Tuesday, 25 February 2014, 08:44 AM
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In 1993, Jeff Mizanskey was arrested for his third and final time for possession and conspiracy to distribute marijuana- for the last 20 years, he has been serving life in prison with no possibility of parole. For pot. Jeff’s son Chris maintains that, during his sentence, Jeff has been a model prisoner and prior to his incarceration was a wonderful father and employee. The sad fact is that, in America, this story is all too common. 1 in 4 prisoners incarcerated worldwide is incarcerated in America, and about half of the prisoners under federal jurisdiction are incarcerated for crimes related to drugs.
In order to stop this arbitrary, unjust and unnecessary incarceration and to benefit the country, I propose the Victimless Crime Act. The Victimless Crime Act would maintain that anyone found guilty of a victimless crime, or a crime where consenting adults agreed to partake, can not be incarcerated. While they may be fined, forced to serve community service and benefit their community and society overall in other ways, someone who has never harmed another person can not be held behind bars. The Victimless Crime Act would also state that persons accused of a victimless crime can not be seen as a criminal until proven guilty in a court of law, and additionally, laws pertaining to drugs would no longer be considered felonies.
The creation and adoption of the Victimless Crime Act would benefit the country, the state, the people and the prisons. From an economic standpoint, the war on drugs and DUI’s, which are some of the most common offenses where no victim is being harmed, is said to have cost almost a trillion dollars. A trillion dollars of wasted police resources has already been wasted and there is no reason to spend more. It costs over 20 billion dollars to maintain the jails and prisons across America, and costs even more to open new ones. By keeping non-violent criminals out of jails, there is more room for real, violent criminals, and there is less need for increased funding. Continuing, by forcing criminals of victimless crimes to serve their punishment in other ways is a major benefit to society- trash gets cleaned up, people get helped and former criminals become model citizens.
From a moral standpoint, the Victimless Crime Act continues to make sense for our country. The emotional roller-coaster a person and their family goes through after being arrested and sentenced is remarkable. If these people were violent and were hurting other people, one could say they deserve that roller-coaster, but if they were just smoking weed in a park, why put a whole family through that? Additionally, the financial burden it places on families is insane. A large portion of drug offenders are young adults, and they don’t have the money for a lawyer, court fees, prison fees, fees to pay for UA’s (Urine Analysis) and BA’s (Breath Analysis), etc. Lastly, when these people get caught, they get labeled as a felon and/or criminal for the rest of their lives, limiting their rights and potential for jobs. This is unfair and the Victimless crime act would stop this from happening.
In conclusion, the Victimless Crime Act is a logical and entirely feasible way to stop the already failing war on drugs, prevent decent people from being behind bars, save the country tons of money and save the people even more. The laws we have already are unjust and unreasonable and, in the words of MLK, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

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