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The affordable housing issues in the United States Questions

The affordable housing issues in the United States Questions


Government in My Community

ASSIGNMENT: For this assignment, you will write about an issue that is important to you, to your community, or to Americans in general. To do this, you will investigate the ways the government has or has not addressed your selected issue. As part of your research, you will choose at least five articles from newspapers, magazines, or other online sources that highlight the government’s response to the issue. You will then identify and analyze the government’s response and provide a personal reflection on the impact. In doing so, you will deepen your engagement with course content by applying what you’ve learned in Units 1 and 2 about the U.S. federal system and the division of powers among and between the different layers of government. To complete the assignment, download the Government in My Community template, and follow the directions below. You will return the completed template as your Touchstone submission. 

Government in My Community Template
Example Government in My Community Submission (PDF) 

A. Directions

Step 1: Select an issue that is important to you, to your community, or to Americans in general. Your community could be your geographical community (e.g., your neighborhood, town, or city), a community of people with shared characteristics with whom you identify, or the broader state or national community.

You can choose any issue, but here are some ideas to get you started: immigration; border security; public school policy; public safety; gun rights or gun control; victim rights; student testing; school choice; abortion; access to public transportation or city services; energy, environment, conservation, or economic issues; healthcare (cost of medicines or health insurance, health care access); homelessness; the death penalty.

Step 2: Find and read at least five articles from newspapers, magazines, or other online sources that highlight the government’s response to the issue. It is important that your articles do not only describe the issue or present opinions on the issue from general members of the public. Look for sources that communicate how government officials have responded or are responding to the issue. You will be asked to identify government officials by name in your articles. 


Ideas for sources include news articles; speeches from political candidates or current office holders; campaign ads; press releases; and data collected from non-profit organizations, among others. The website can be a good starting point for learning about government responses to various issues. Other online sources for information about government policy and services could include (but are not limited to):

Step 3: After completing your research and reflecting on what you’ve learned, fill out the Government in My Community template. You will respond to the following prompts: 

  • What is the issue or problem that is impacting your community? Describe the issue or problem and its effects. (Remember to use in-text citations anytime you paraphrase, summarize, quote, or include data or statistics from your sources!)
  • In the U.S. federal system, which level of government (local, state, or national) or branch (executive, legislative, judicial) is responsible for addressing the issue? Is there more than one? Explain your reasoning. Be sure to include evidence from the U.S. Constitution and from the course to support your explanation.  
  • Identify all of the government officials discussed in your sources. Include their names and the level of government and agency that the officials represent. For example, are they a member of Congress? A city council member? Or a member of a federal, state, city, or county agency?  
  • How have these government officials attempted to address the issue? Describe their actions, citing evidence from all five articles or other online sources with in-text citations. For help understanding how and when to include in-text citations, see Section D “Additional Resources” (below). 
  • In your opinion, has the government done a good job addressing the issue? Why or why not? What more should be done, and by which level of government?

Step 4: Compile your reference list in the APA style. Section D. “Additional Resources” (below) will help you to understand how to add your sources to the Government in My Community template.  

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