Helpful links to internet resources
Citizen Participation opportunities:
(1) Check Your Voter Registration to determine in which federal, state, county, and municipal or public service districts you live.
(2) Find your representatives' contact information and information about meetings by checking the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Regional Directory and the State of South Carolina's website.
(3) Follow current state legislation through online weekly legislative updates. These reports summarize actions in the state House of Representatives when it is in session. You can also follow how your US Representatives voted on Roll Call Votes.
(4) Educate yourself on issues you find important by exploring the websites referenced on this page and the following websites:
Institute for Public Service and Policy Research (University of South Carolina)
Strom Thurmond Institute of Government and Public Affairs (Clemson University)
(5) Attend meetings and begin building relationships with elected officials and government staff.
(6) Help engage youth in the community:
Read Helping Your Child Become a Responsible Citizen - This publication suggests activities that you and your school-aged children can do together to promote the basic values that you want your child to learn and use. (PDF)
Let your kids explore these websites created just for them on topics of voting, civic engagement, and government!
- PBS Election Central - For use in classrooms or at home during elections; includes virtual field trips, classroom activities, contests, movies, and more. Geared toward older kids.
- Scholastic News Election - Kids get to register their votes online, see an interactive "path to the White House,"hear election news from kid reporters, and learn election vocabulary
- Government for Kids! - with games, videos, tutorials, and posters
- iCivics - Teaches students civics through engaging games that put them in the places of lawyers, activists, administrators, and even candidates. Also includes lesson plans for teachers
- Ben's Guide to Government for Kids - broken down into multiple age groups and includes resources for parents and teachers
- "Connecting the Dots for our Mini-Americans" LWVCA member Shayna Howell was a guest writer for the LWV blog. Read her important message about engaging our littlest Americans in the political process.
And check out these books that help explain elections and democracy in a fun way:
Bad Kitty for President - "It's time to elect a new president of the Neighborhood Cat Coalition! Who will win the election? The candidate chosen by the kitties on the right side of the street or the candidate chosen by the kitties on the left side of the street? When election time rolls around, one candidate (guess who?) will discover that she never bothered to register to vote and the entire election will be decided by a surprise, last minute absentee ballot sent by Old Kitty." Recommended for elementary-aged kids
Monster Needs Your Vote - "Election season is here and Monster is ready to vote! But why cast your ballot when you can run for president instead? With speeches, debates, and a soapbox or two, Monster's newest tale is a campaign encouraging kids to take a stand and fight for what they believe in." This rhyming book is great for preschoolers.
(7) Understand how public meetings are conducted by referring to Robert's Rules of Order.
(8) Join the League to work and network with like-minded people!
(9) Brush up on your advocacy skills. Get tips for being an effective advocate for your policy priorities. LWVSC published a wonderful guide, Advocacy 101, which includes tailored advice for South Carolina.
Read LWVSC's Education Finance Act Piece - South Carolina's education finance system is incredibly complicated. The most cynical observers suggest that this is done on purpose to obscure what is really going on. More likely, however, the complexity is a product of a piecemeal cobbling together of the education funding mechanism over time. Regardless of the cause, this paper is an attempt to simplify one of the most complex pieces of the puzzle, the Education Finance Act.
Local school districts:
Trident Rideshare - Tri-county residents can register online for this carpool-matching service
Independent Transportation Network (for seniors)
Transportation planning resources (Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments)
Water Quality and You (a LWVCA report)
Water Quality and Your Health (a LWVCA report)
In March, 2012, the LWVCA held a "Hot Topic" meeting on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare"). Charleston School of Law Professor Mary Kay Schwemmer briefed League members and the public on key points of the Law, just before it went to the Supreme Court for consideration. She was generous enough to share her "powerpoint presentation on the PPACA and How It Will Affect the Consumer."<
S.C. health statistics (S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control)
Criminal justice statistics (U.S. Department of Justice/Office of Justice Statistics)
S.C. First Circuit Solicitor's Office (Dorchester, Calhoun, and Orangeburg Counties)
S.C. Ninth Circuit Solicitor's Office (Berkeley and Charleston Counties)
Criminal justice positions (League of Women Voters of South Carolina)
High Performance Schools Resource Gateway (Center for Architecture and Building Science Research at the New Jersey Institute of Technology)