If you listen to my show, you know I do not just believe in sitting in an isolated broadcast studio and talk about issues with you. To me, it’s important to be out in the community, be active and encourage listeners to take action.
If the extent of your participating in our democracy is just listening to my talk show on WPHT 1210-AM Radio, then I have failed. I believe my job is to help motivate listeners to become active, engaged citizens. I do not care what your political preferences are; our country needs informed and engaged citizens. Many politicians count on the apathy of the public to advance special interest agendas that do not always have the best interests of the public at heart. As long as that apathy exists, all politicians have to do is “play out the clock.”
Since we are on the eve of the election, I decided to create an Engaged Citizenship Test. It’s absolutely unscientific, but it is a good way for all of us to remember that being an engaged and informed citizen is an important responsibility. Take the test, add your scores and see where you fall on “Dom’s Citizenship Meter.”
Dom’s Engaged Citizenship Test:
1. You have voted in every general election: a) if you always vote, give yourself 12 points; b) if you vote in most, give youself 7 points; c) if you vote in some, give yourself 5 points.
2. You vote in primary elections: a) if you always vote, give yourself 12 points; b) if you vote in most, give youself 7 points; c) if you vote in some, give yourself 5 points.
3. You donate your time and/or money to political candidates you support. If yes, give yourself 6 points.
4. You volunteer your time to community/civic organizations. If yes, give yourself 10 points.
5. You have written a Letter to the Editor to your local newspaper on an issue. If yes, give yourself 4 points.
6. During elections, you read the positions of BOTH candidates. If yes, give yourself 10 points (no points if you only read the positions of one candidate).
7. You study school board issues and vote in your local school board elecction. If yes, give yourself 3 points.
8. You attend school board meetings. If yes, give yourself 3 points.
9. You have at least on one or more occasions split your vote and voted for candidates based on their positions on issues, not just their political party affiliation. If yes, give yourself 5 points.
10. During election season, you have served as a volunteer (such as “Get Out the Vote,” making calls, serving as an Election Day monitor, or driven senior citizens to the polls). If yes, give yourself 4 points.
11. You have read the Founding Documents (Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, etc.) at least once in the past 5 years. If yes, give youself 6 points).
12. You have attended a Town Hall of your Congress representative, U.S. Senator, state representative or local representative. If yes, give yourself 5 points; if you asked a question, give yourself 2 additional points.
13. You watched the major political conventions this year. If you watched just your political party, give yourself 3 points; if you watched both conventions, then give yourself 6 points.
14. You have written or called your Congressional representative or state/local representative on an issue that mattered to you. If yes, give yourself 6 points.
15. You attended a political event (such as a political rally or debate). If yes, give yourself 6 points.
EXTRA CREDIT: Give yourself 2 points for each of the following: a) you read your local daily newspaper; b) you watch C-SPAN or other news/public affairs programs at least 2 hours a week; and c) you listen to my talk show on WPHT 1210-AM Radio (sorry, but I have to give my show a shameless plug!)
HOW DID YOU SCORE?
91 to 100 points: You did not forget your civics lessons from your school days! You earn an “A” for awesome!
81 to 90 points: In the engaged citizenship department, you’re doing a very good job. Congratulations.
71 to 80 points: You’re clearly an involved citizen.
61 to 70 points: You’re active in many aspects of citizenship, but you can do more.
51 to 60 points: Your level of participation is below average.
50 points of lower: You need to get engaged and get involved. Politicians count on this type of apathy!