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What it means to be a citizen

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Presentation on theme: "What it means to be a citizen"— Presentation transcript:

1 What it means to be a citizen

2 Who is a Citizen? A person who by birth or choice owes allegiance to a nation You are born in the US or a territory At least 1 of your parents was a US citizen when you were born You have been naturalized (gone through citizenship process) You were under 18 when parents were naturalized

3 If you come to the US from another to country to live you are considered an alien.
Alien: Citizen from one country who lives in another country As an alien you have many of the same rights as regular citizens Can’t vote or hold government office

4 The Office of Citizen Abraham Lincoln “ ours is a government by the people, and for the people.” Our government can make laws, build roads and bridges, tax, fight wars, make agreements with other countries, but only if the citizens want to. As citizens we elect representatives, people who are chosen to speak and act for their fellow citizens.

5 Who is elected? President Congress City Council School Board Mayor

6 Rights of citizens Right to vote and hold elected office
Right to say what you think in speech and writing Right to practice your own religion Right to a fair trial Right to be protected by your government when you are working or traveling in other countries

7 Ideas on Rights Rights in the US are based on American beliefs of: equal respect, freedom, equality, and justice Our rights are guaranteed by our Constitution and protected by laws and our courts.

8 Duties of Citizens Obeying the laws Defending the nation
Serving on a jury or as a witness in court Paying taxes Attending school

9 Obeying the laws We have rules and laws to keep society running in an orderly way Some laws are there to prevent us from hurting each other Some laws establish rules for making agreements and settling disagreements in a fair way We must obey laws to that protect citizens rights Equal opprotunity

10 Too many laws It is impossible to know all laws in your city, state, nation It is up to you to know the laws that affect your life and your actions. Ignorance of the law is no excuse


12 Defending the Nation Helping our country defend itself against threats to our peace and security is another important duty of citizens US maintains armed services during peacetime When you are 18 or older you may volunteer to serve in the military Young men must register for military service when they turn 18 Doesn’t mean they will serve, but in a national emergency they could be drafted to serve

13 Serving on a Jury or Witness
Basic right is right to a fair trial Innocent until proven guilty No person may be found guilty unless there is beyond reasonable doubt Constitution guarantees the right to trial by jury Witness in a case

14 Paying taxes Income taxes Sales taxes Property taxes
Through taxes out government raises money to pay for the services that it provides to the nation

15 Attending School Required to attend from 5 or 6 to at least 16
School attendance laws Schools are to make sure students have the knowledge and skills to succeed in life and be a good citizen

16 The Common Good Basic responsibility of all citizens is to contribute to the common good Acting in ways that protect the rights and freedoms of other Americans and to make our communities, states, and nation a good place to live Voting (voting wisely)

17 Holding Government Office
Elected officials have accepted the responsibility of learning about the issues and trying to make decisions that are in the peoples best interests

18 Election campaigns Carry campaign signs at a rally
Putting signs in your yard Stuffing envelopes Making phone calls

19 Influencing Government
Influencing government is another way to fulfill the “office of citizen” Right letters to government officials/put in newspapers Speak at city council Join or create organizations with the goal of influencing government

20 Serving the Community Not all responsibilities of people are connected with the government Each of us are responsible to make our communities the best places possible

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