| »

U.S. Conference of Mayors,

U.S. Conference of Mayors

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is an organization of mayors throughout the United States. The website contains a number of press releases and reports on issues facing mayors and local government, which range from a few pages to hundreds of pages in length. The Mayors at a Glance feature is perhaps the most useful feature those studying Virginia government. Users can search for mayors by last name, city, state, and population. Each mayor featured has a picture, contact information, and short biography. Does your jurisdiction have a mayor? Try finding out more about mayors in your area.

Virginia Performs: Measuring What Matters to Virginians,

Commonwealth of Virginia

Virginia Performs is part of Virginia's open government initiative. The website includes information on Virginia's progress in areas such as health, education, and transportation. For example, users can find information on high school graduation rates in Virginia and surrounding states. The website also includes information on government initiatives to increase high school graduation rates. Questions to consider include: What is the role of state and local government? How are policy decisions implemented at a state and local level?

Virginia Ideas Forum,

Commonwealth of Virginia

The Virginia Ideas Forum offers a place for residents and citizens of Virginia to voice their suggestions and concerns to state officials. Other residents and citizens may comment and vote on these ideas. In addition, state officials offer responses on the forum. This website is an excellent place for individuals to become involved in government.

Political Cartoonists Index,

Daryl Cagle and ClassBrain

This website offers five lesson plans and associated political cartoons every day. Such frequent updates ensure that each lesson plan covers the latest issues. By necessity, each lesson plan is fairly brief. It offers a brief overview of background on the political cartoon, a list of discussion questions, the state where the cartoon was published, and links to articles about the issue. The main page also offers a comprehensive index of political cartoonists, which includes the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Fredericksburg Freelance-Star, that visitors may want to use for research purposes or simply a quick laugh.

How Should the Government Respond to Obesity?,

Tanya Wanchek

Exploring different government policies on obesity, a well-recognized public health problem in the Commonwealth and in states across the country, encourages one to think through the advantages and disadvantages of public policy.  Furthermore, it…

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…

Why Does Global Health Matter to Virginia?,

In today's increasingly globalized world, what happens in India or China can affect trade or travel in Virginia. What are some ways that you interact with the rest of the world on a day-to-day basis? Where do your food and clothes come from? What is…