Do you think the cost of education should be cheaper? Should the vacant lot across the street from your house be preserved as open space for future generations? Should we build a new highway to reduce traffic and make it easier to travel? Should we continue to explore space? Who should I contact to make these changes? My Senator? Governor? Town Councilman? These questions conjure up important debates about a variety of things, but they also point to the different responsibilities of different levels of government.
The process of government can be confusing. To be an active citizen, you need to have a good understanding not only of how the American Congress works, but also how it relates to state and even local governments. As can be seen countless times throughout history, these relations are complex and seem to be ever-changing.
While you may not be thinking about cashing your Social Security checks when you turn 65, your Senators and Representatives have been talking about it since before you were born. Your local officials are considering how to pay for new teachers in your high school, and how to raise the money necessary to make sure that the park next to your school won't be turned into hundreds of condominiums. Your governor is hard at work trying to figure out ways to create new jobs and to ensure economic prosperity.
Rutgers Model Congress will help you to begin sifting some of the very important issues that affect your daily life. By representing local, state, and federal elected officials, you will begin to see the intricate processes that often go on behind the scenes. You will learn how bills are actually drafted, passed, enacted, and even enforced. While working with your peers, you will assess American foreign policy and make sure that we are on the right track. But most importantly, you will have the chance to look at the important issues that affect all Americans and develop innovative and effective solutions to some of our country's most difficult problems.