ENG1121, Section D421: English Composition, SP2016

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  • #34978

    amcalderon
    Participant

    This is where you can post your responses re: citizenship and voting from our class on February 10th!

    #35077

    Mike Passarelli
    Participant

    When asked what it means to be a citizen, my mind goes to several places simultaneously. It is a complicated relationship between the government, or the State, and its people, Citizens, with certain loyalties and responsibilities that each participant owes to each other. The State owes a few things to its citizens, and while not all inclusive, this list includes things like courts, sovereignty, military protection, and arguably most important to this country, a Bill of Rights. The language of our governing documents imply that all people, not just citizens, are entitled to freedoms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but Citizenship carries more rights and privileges, and thus more responsibility as well. The State cannot exist in a vacuum; the right to govern is derived from the consent of the governed. Therefore, tremendous responsibility is placed on a countries Citizens to ensure their government is just, equitable, and capable. Problems begin when the people empowered by the Citizenry, and therefore the State, seek to betray our confidence in them, and abuse that power. At its most rudimentary form, Democracy empowers it’s participants with the practice of voting. Voting is the most basic tool we the people have to communicate our desires to the State, and remove those who would abuse their position. Put simply, that what being a Citizen is; its understanding your role and capabilities in the machine that is government, and exercising all rights and privileges afforded by that government.

    #35086

    avril padilla
    Participant

    I agree with you Mike. For me being a citizen I don’t feel like I have privileges like others do, and I feel like a fish out of water. I feel that the government does not care about my well being even though they take a lot of taxes from me to the point that I am just surviving in this country. I would like that one day that each person regardless of where they came from or beliefs, they we can be seen as equal persons and our voices can be heard.

    #35087

    avril padilla
    Participant

    When It comes to voting, I would like residents to have that privilege to vote. Even the smallest voice should be heard with respect since they have decided to live in this country and is becoming part of its culture and introducing theirs to it. Being able to do this will make a difference for us the minority population, showing the government that we exist, we are here and we have needs just like the upper class groups. We are equal to them and should be heard.

    #35098

    When thinking about the meaning of being a citizen, a lot come to mine; some like having the ability to do what I please under the constitution. What also comes to mine is having the ability to have a voice in who will run the free world or even be able to fight for a change in the government if something is wrong with the rules. That might be true, is that what is actually happening; I think not the way the government is set up only those with money have the power to change the free world for the good, but instead they are withholding their money and taking from the poor causing the rich to get richer and the poor to poor to get poorer. This is the reason I agree with avril I do feel like a fish out of water, I have no real voice in what’s happening in the government, even if I go to the president him self and tell him what need to change in mine or anyone else’s neighborhood. They really don’t care about the poor even though the poor pays almost 75% of the taxes. That is why we as a nation need to stand up and fight for equality in pay, jobs, education, and living environment. If not nothing will change and thing wil justl get worst.

    #35101

    Briana Roldan
    Participant

    I have been thinking about what it really means to be a citizen of the United States and why that is so important to many people. I feel like the people who are already citizens here in America do not see the country the same as someone who is not from America, someone who was not born in this country. I feel like many people take being a citizen for granted because they feel like America is not the best place to be. When I think of what it means to be an American citizen, I believe that it should consist of being seen as equal to one another, having all the same privileges and rights, no matter if you were born here or in a different place. I believe that being a citizen should mean that an individual is happy and proud of where they live. I believe that people who are not from here should not have to pay to become citizen. I believe that they should not be denied the right to become a citizen. I believe that they should be treated with the same respect and integrity as a U.S born citizen. I think that it is unfair to those people who come to America to get away from their country because it is impoverished, it is falling apart, it is run by a corrupt dictator or something of that sort. I believe that it is unfair to treat those people as if they are not human, as if they do not have feelings, as if they are “illegal.” Many people come to America because it is a country of opportunity. A country where they feel like they can have a new and better life. A country where they should not feel like they have to hide from anything or anyone. Denying people the right to become a citizen based on their race, culture, home country, money, or intelligence is truly wrong. People from different countries should be able to come to America and feel like they are right where they feel comfortable, equal, and like an American citizen.

    #35102

    Melany C.
    Participant

    When we talk about citizens and how they look like for us, there are many ideas but it’s a regular person with the only advantage of having paper/passport that says you are U.S Citizen which grants them the right to vote. Far from that, there is not much different from someone who is non-citizens because they all work, pay taxes and probably they live same time in this country. This is why I believe non-citizen should be able to vote like they mentioned my other classmates above. If we want to see changes, we need those opinion/votes from everyone who is working or living here for quite long since they know the struggle and they are working, I believe it’s unfair they can’t vote when they providing so much to this country like everyone else. For example, there are non-citizens working in the fields for years with bad conditions and nobody is taking the count on that because they don’t have a vote or are citizens so they can’t put their voice out there to obtain some kind of help. Non-citizens will help cover the votes from those who don’t feel like voting and prove this country that we all can have equal rights no matter who we are or base on paper that would grant more privileges than others.

    #35106

    Ray
    Participant

    The first thing that comes to mind to the meaning of being a citizen is being bind to rules. Our voice is the only thing that could challenge those we see unfair or unwanted and most of the time, majority wins. Although we have countless rules to appreciate and at the same time restrict us, there are individuals that have been empowered by the state to exercise their own rules. This is where our voices matter the most to make a change in the state, which is the privilege to vote. The privilege to vote is a way to express our wants to the state and choose the best that would display qualities of order and a worthy leader. In the end, being a citizen is understanding the rights and exercise them to an advantage.

    #35108

    Connie
    Participant

    The thing that comes to mind when thinking of what an American citizen means to me is someone who’s been in America for a very long time or someone who was born here. They have more rights compared to non-American citizens. This also means that American citizens have the right to vote compared to those who aren’t a citizen yet. People who have the rights to vote don’t vote and those who want to can’t. I believe that everyone should be able to vote because whether they are a citizen or not, they’re all paying for taxes and working just as hard as those who are American citizens. There may be many reasons why people came to America and one reason may be due to their own country being corrupted. They came to America hoping to live a better life and not having to live in fear or whatever the reason may be in their country. They want to be able to be equal and treated the same like everyone else around them and nothing less.

    #35111

    Alexis Sosa
    Participant

    When someone says American citizen the first image that pops into my head is a generic white man with a family and kids. This image isn’t due to any of my personal opinions of what it means to be an American citizen, but of what has been pushed on me since a kid of what an American citizen looks like. I remember whenever there happened to be a commercial dealing with American families the first image they displayed would be a white family who’d embrace themselves and smile. Although at the time I thought nothing of it, I would now see that the image carved into my mind when American citizen is mentioned is that same white family I saw back then.
    Although I personally don’t think there’s a single race that should represent what it means to be an American citizen, there has always been someone or something pushing these selected images into our head. When someone mentions American citizen we should be thinking of the rights that come with being one instead of an image of what one looks like. This if difficult since whenever there’s a commercial or newspaper ad regarding American citizens there always has to be some image which tries to pin down what the idle American citizen should look like. Instead focusing on giving the appearance of what an American citizen looks like these ads should focus on what makes up an American citizen as in the rights and privileges that come with being one.

    #35114

    Chaise
    Participant

    When I think of an American citizen, I think of a middle aged white guy that’s die hard for his country and say things like “This is the greatest country in the world!” For the person that was born here was already gifted more rights at birth over the people from another country. The people who aren’t born here in America that pay taxes and pay bills to live here should have the right to vote just as much as the person that was born here instead of having to wait their whole life just to get a piece of paper that says it’s legal for them to live here. I don’t think that someone who was born in America sees the same thing as a person from another country because they don’t look at their point of view. I feel like the only reason that you have to get a green card to stay in America is just an excuse for America to make a few more dollars.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 11 months ago by Chaise.
    #35116

    Bryan Carranza
    Participant

    An on going debate in today society is undocumented people the right to vote. Like every debate this dilemma has has two sides. The people who support this want undocumented people voice to be heard and practice what certain people take for granted. The opposing side believes that undocumented people should go through all the legal process in order to vote but what they fail to realize is takes a years and resources.
    My stand point of this debate is undocumented/residents people should be able to vote on small local elections regardless of their background. They should at least be able to taste the waters. They shouldn’t be able to vote in presidential elections. It is unfair for undocumented people to not be able to vote just because they’re not from USA.

    #35117

    Bryan Carranza
    Participant

    An on going debate in today society is undocumented people the right to vote. Like every debate this dilemma has has two sides. The people who support this want undocumented people voice to be heard and practice what certain people take for granted. The opposing side believes that undocumented people should go through all the legal process in order to vote but what they fail to realize is takes a years and resources.
    My stand point of this debate is undocumented/residents people should be able to vote on small local elections regardless of their background. They should at least be able to taste the waters. They shouldn’t be able to vote in presidential elections. It is unfair for undocumented people to not be able to vote just because they’re not from USA.

    #35118

    Mike Passarelli
    Participant

    Chaise, that is a tremendously powerful observation. When one looks at the cost of naturalization from the 1980’s till now, it has skyrocketed; 1980 paperwork and processing costs were around $60, with a large portion of applicants being eligible for federal waivers, whereas now, it can cost in excess of $680. But I think there should be more to it than just the cost. Choosing to leave ones home country and seek citizenship in another is not a decision made flippantly; I think that by deciding to become a citizen, you are volunteering to assume the responsibilities of citizenship.

    #35121

    James Guity
    Participant

    When i think about Citizenship and Enfranchisement, i agree with the current policies involved. I’m aware that it isn’t easy to become a citizen in the United States and it should not be relatively easy to be an American citizen. However, there should be exceptions for people who face hardships from their home countries. My parents were born in a different country and I’m aware of the process they faced when becoming a part of the USA.
    Voting in national elections should stay a right for citizens. Having people whose tenures in the United States aren’t permanent should not be allowed to vote because it disrupts the process to a degree. These people should be able to vote in local elections because not enough people care about local elections. Local elections focus more on the immediate living circumstances of the people in the area.

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