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A Study Guide for the Ohio Ninth-Grade Citizenship Proficiency Test
Political Systems Economic Systems

O. Civic Involvement
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Civic involvement is necessary to keep our democracy strong and successful. Civic involvement is citizen participation. It means actively participating in the democratic system under which we live. We can do this by exercising our rights and accepting our reponsibilities.

Civic involvement means becoming knowledgeable about what is going on in our neighborhoods, city, county, state and nation. Reading a book or newspaper, listening to a speech or news report on the radio, or watching the nightly news or a news program on television to be better informed are examples of civic involvement which are passive.

Civic involvement can also be active. By voting on election day, we help decide who makes our laws and, by so doing, influence what laws are made. Besides voting, active civic involvement can include convincing other people to vote for or against issues.

Handing out flyers to help pass a school levy, handing out campaign literature to support a candidate, writing letters to a member of Congress or the President, or running for public office are other forms of active civic involvement.

Civic involvement is usually voluntary, which means there is no pay. But, civic involvement does pay in its own way. It makes our neighborhood, city, county, state and nation better for all of us. Contributing to worthwhile charities, tutoring younger children, bagging groceries at hunger centers or giving one day a month to help some community project makes everyone richer.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.

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