To Secure the Blessings of Liberty to Ourselves and Our Posterity [TO INSURE THE BLESSINGS OF LIBERTY]

Questions for Discussion

  1. "To secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity" summarizes the broad purpose of both government and citizenship under our system. Are the "blessings of liberty" in your neighborhood or community secure for both you and your "posterity"--your children? What aspects are at risk? Make a list. What, in broad terms, would need to happen to "secure the blessings of liberty" in your neighborhood, as you see it?

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt, "The Four Freedoms"

  2. In general, we all try to create communities that are attractive, safe, economically viable, and decent places to raise our children. The framers saw each of these goals as depending upon an active partnership between government and the people. Do you agree? Or do you think that each of us should be left to "secure the blessings of liberty" on our own?

    Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1st Inaugural Address
    Ronald Reagan, 1st Inaugural Address

  3. In developing a plan for improving your neighborhood or community, discuss how each of the goals that we have listed in the previous question--attractive, safe, economically viable, and a decent place to raise our children--might be achieved. What must citizens do as individuals? What must community organizations and human service agencies do? What must business do? What must government do? Be specific and take as many sessions as you need. This is where you apply the civic framework for community to specific goals for improvement. In considering the role of government in this process, which level of government needs to be involved--local, state, federal, or all three? What, specifically, do you expect from government in each area?

    The readings that follow suggest how America's leaders have approached these issues in the past, and offer examples of specific federal programs that at building partnerships between government and citizens at the local level. We cover six specific areas:

    How can government and citizens work together to achieve these goals where you live?

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