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Prince William County Comprehensive Plan,

Prince William County Planning Office

"A comprehensive plan is a general guide to the location, character, and extent of proposed or anticipated land use, including public facilities." The Prince William County Comprehensive Plan offers a five-year snapshot of land use decisions. These…

Prince William County Planning,

Prince William County Planning Office

The official website of the Prince William County Planning Office provides a wealth of real-life examples of public policy formation and implementation.

Creating public policy is a long process, and a number of groups have an impact on…

What are Initiatives and Referendums?,

Rob Campbell

Currently, 24 states have some form of initiative and referendum process. Citizens can use the ballot initiative process to implement laws on their own; conversely, a referendum places an existing law to a popular vote. In this activity, students…

Local Government in Action: Wise County Board of Supervisors,

Wise County, Virginia

The Wise County Board of Supervisors offers a prime example of the executive branch in a local jurisdiction. This website offers meeting agendas and minutes, as well as a TV broadcast of Board meetings. The Wise County website is one among many local government websites that address this issue—you can even find your own local government!

How Are Land Use Decisions Made?,

Charlie Grymes

Participating in land-use decisions made by one's local government, after learning the rules of the process, challenges the stereotype that residents affected by land-use changes are victims of uncontrollable circumstances. Working with a county's…

Dillon’s Rule: Should it Stay or Should it Go?,

Shawn English, Fairfax County Public Schools

As one of the central principles that guide policy making decisions of local jurisdictions, Dillon’s Rule (state control of local government) is an important concept in understanding government in the Commonwealth. Students will read an essay about…

Governor Kaine Announces 50 New Jobs for Halifax County,

Gordon Hickey, David McFarland, and Suzanne West

Sometimes, states "bid" for different companies to locate their manufacturing plants or jobs in that state. In this case, Virginia pledged $260,000 to help a bath fixture company create a manufacturing plant in Halifax county. In return, LABSCO…

Tax Tribute Ceremony,

Office of the Governor of Virginia

In this photo, "Governor Kaine and First Lady Holton accepted tribute from members of Virginia's native tribes at an annual ceremony. A treaty signed in 1646 calls for the tribes to make an annual offering to the Governor, traditionally the day…