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My Chance to Take Action

Out of everything we learned in government this year, I was most interested in the Pathways of Action. It had always seemed to be that if you wanted change, it wasn’t going to happen. I used to view the government almost as a separate, secret society that was huge and powerful, and impossible to ever get in touch with. Being a high school student, I especially felt insignificant and like I did not mean anything, and what I wanted did not matter. Little did I know that there are actually several ways of approaching change and that making a difference and being heard are not impossible.

The Pathways of Action include the elections pathway, lobbying pathway, court pathway, grassroots mobilization pathway, and cultural change pathway. Through these pathways, change can be more easily achieved. I live in Irving, Texas where they have cracked down on undocumented immigration. Illegal immigration has increased and Irving passed a law that allows police to conduct an immigration check on

Irving Police

Irving Police

everyone they arrest. Thousands of Irving residents have been referred to the federal authorities, but many of these immigrants are facing deportation just because of minor offenses. This has divided the Irving community between Latinos and retail businesses, against strict immigration enforcement, with the mayor in the middle. I personally believe we should not be so harsh on these immigrants, but instead try to help them become citizens and turn Irving into a safe and welcoming city for them to live. After considering the ten steps in choosing a pathway of action, I have realized several things. The first is that I need to become more informed on the issue of undocumented immigration in Irving and its history. Next, I have thought through who will support me. Immigrants of Irving, businesses that employ or sell to them, and other minorities of low income will most likely support me the most. For my resources, I would have a good amount of like-minded activists, passion, and most likely the ability to get sympathetic media attention. To paint a picture of the harmless and hard working lives of many of these immigrants would be the most beneficial to our cause. The opposition is also important to take into consideration. I would be up against the police force and people with a lot more money and resources. The opposition would definitely be the biggest challenge that would require me to find older people with more power to join my cause. I could go about changing this unnecessary and strict law several ways such as the lobbying pathway or the cultural change pathway, but after considering the ten steps, to be most successful I would pursue the grassroots mobilization pathway. Through this pathway, I can attract the attention of local officials by encouraging others in my community to join me in taking strategic actions. I could organize protests or public demonstrations, and seek to educate the public on what is happening, and what should be changed. The more people I could get to support me, the more we could pressure the local officials of Irving. If I decide that I truly want to take it upon myself to make this change, then this is how I would go about it. I now see that achieving the change I want to see is not as impossible as I once thought.

It is our duty as citizens to stay active and informed. It is important that we stay involved, and when we see something that we disagree with, to seek change and become proactive. The pathways of action are ways of becoming active, and fulfilling our responsibility as citizens of the United States. We are lucky enough to live in a country where we have a voice, and can stand up for what we believe in and make a difference.

Categories: A1, Learning
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