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Commonwealth Data Point: Transparency at Work in Virginia,

Commonwealth of Virginia

Commonwealth Data Point is an excellent tool for understanding the basic implementation of financial expenditures. Find out budget data, or what was purchased on the state credit card. The website also provides demographic data, such as university enrollment and food stamp use. While browsing the website, you may want to consider how state and local governments implement policy decisions. What changes could you make to policy or spending practices?

Gapminder,

Gapminder Foundation

Gapminder provides free access to statistics (usually gathered from the United Nations) presented in moving data visualization charts. These statistics aren’t boring—data sets flow over time and offer surprising insights into public health, trade, and other issues. Users can select states such as Virginia and compare them to hundreds of countries throughout the world, including China, the United Kingdom, and Mexico. Statistics track a variety of indicators, including income, insurance “uncoverage,” immigration, and “best teeth.” Users can watch a video tutorial, as well as videos applying the information to real-world scenarios. This website is particularly useful for anyone learning about graphs, public policy issues, and the relationship between Virginia and the rest of the world.

Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2009 (Excerpt) ,

US House of Representatives

The Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2009 is a more recently introduced bill to try to extend federal recognition to six Indian tribes in Virginia (the Chickahominy Tribe, the Chickahomin Tribe Eastern…

What Criteria Must Be Met for Federal Recognition of Tribal Status?
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Testimony of Theresa Rosier, Counselor to the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs

This document contains testimony from the U.S. Office of Federal Acknowledgment regarding its criteria for federal tribal recognition. American Indian tribes who are federally recognized are eligible for additional rights and "inherent sovereignty." …

CDC Maps of Obesity Trends,

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

These maps show the United States obesity prevalence from 1985 through 2008. Obesity rates have been rising dramatically during that period. What are the causes of this rise in obesity? What should the government's role be in this public health…

Virginia Obesity Rates - CDC graph,

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

These graphs reflect growing trends in the "obesity epidemic" taking place in Virginia and other areas of the United States. The data was compiled by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a government department.

What are some…

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…

Mark Warner: Selections from his Facebook page,

Mark Warner

Politicians and other public figures are increasingly using new social networking technologies such as Facebook and Twitter to increase publicity and make announcements to the public and mass media. These images show sections of Senator Mark…

iCitizen Forum Video Library,

iCitizen Forum

The iCitizen Forum is a project created by Colonial Williamsburg that "promotes understanding of the balance between rights and responsibilities in a historical context." The video library contains a number of interviews with scholars and other public figures about democracy and government in the United States. Those who are particularly technologically inclined can also follow the project's YouTube channel.

Budget Hero Game,

American Public Media

Budget Hero gives players an opportunity to try to manage the Federal budget by making budget decisions without breaking the bank. Players can choose up to three major issues to focus on, such as  national defense, health and wellness, energy independence, and efficient government. The game provides details about individual issues (such as funding for mass transit and other infrastructure), which can inform players about some of the major policy issues being dicussed right now. The game is aimed at the Federal budget, but some of the policy decisions affect state and local governments.