Columbia Southern University American Studies City Council Meeting Essay


For this essay, you will attend a city council, county council, or commission meeting (or a meeting hosted by a similar government agency or group). You will then provide an analysis of the meeting and determine whether you agreed with the steps and actions taken by the council or commission. You will need to explain why you agreed or disagreed.

For students unable to attend in person, viewing a meeting online is an acceptable substitute. The name of the council or commission, location, date, and web address (if applicable) must be included on your title page. Your essay must be at least two full pages in length. You must include a copy of the official meeting agenda as your supporting documentation.

Be sure to include the following information in your essay.

  • Include an introduction with a topic sentence at the end of your first paragraph. Example: “The following items from the (fill in the blank) meeting will be analyzed:” and then list each item. These items will then serve as your headers:
    • agenda items,
    • items that required a vote and the outcome of those votes,
    • any contentious issues and analysis of the problem, and
    • any items of particular interest.

Address the questions below in your essay.

  • Which people in leadership roles and positions were present and participated in the meeting?
  • What community services were addressed in the meeting? In what ways did the council or commission discuss these services?
  • Was the meeting what you expected? Would you have voted with the majority? Elaborate on your response.
  • How do you think voter participation (i.e., votes that elected the officials to the council or commission) played a role in the meeting?
  • When watching the meeting, what community power (e.g., pluralistic, elite) model do you see?

Academic sources should be used, including the textbook, and must be referenced in proper APA Style. The minutes of the meeting should be used as a source.

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