Patricia A. O'Malley

Social Policy & Programs Consulting

Training and Services for agencies working toward social and economic justice

Course Objectives

American public schools do a remarkably poor job of preparing students to be citizens.

This course explains the structure, function, and language of government to give participants the confidence to stand up for themselves, to contribute to all phases of civic life, and to advocate for issues that are important to them.

​​​Civics 101

American Government and Public Participation

Learn How Your Government Works 
and How You Can Influence It.

​When our schools do bother to teach civics at all, they do it wrong.
This is not your boring high school class.

There's no "express-implied-reserved-delegated-concurrent-magic-super powers nonsense.

Pat uses the U.S. Constitution and current events to teach you how the government works in real life.

American Government and Public Participation is a flexible, basic civics course designed for adult learners
who seek the knowledge and skills to participate more fully in American public discourse and action.

Contact Pat to schedule training for your staff, members, or clients.

Gather a Group

of Organizations

Invite other organizations in your community to share a session with you, to reduce expenses, broaden the discussions, and enhance your experience.

​Patricia A. O'Malley

Social Policy & Programs Consulting    ~    Community Matters
412-310-4886    ~
Copyright Patricia A. O'Malley    ~    All rights reserved
Established 1993

Political ignorance breeds

political impotence

Course Description

The American founders designed our system of government to encourage public participation.

While everyone likes to gripe and grumble, few Americans understand how that system works or how to make their participation count.

If "we the people" are going to control our government, then "we the people" need to know how it's supposed to work, and how it actually does work.

If we can do that, then all of our lives will improve.

This course uses the U.S. Constitution to describe how and why our American government works.

Course Content

The United States Constitution
History · Structure · What's in it What's not in it

The Legislative Branch
Congress · Powers

Committee structure

The Executive Branch
The Presidency · Powers and Duties

Navigating the Bureaucracy

The Judicial Branch
U.S. Court System · Appeals Process

Landmark Cases

Public Participation
Elections and Voting ·

Contact Your Representatives Lobbying, Interest Groups

Protests and Demonstrations

Why Should 

We Learn Civics?

When you know how legislators make laws, then you can influence the process, and be your own lobbyist.

When you know how to find the text of a bill online, you can read it for yourself to determine which TV talking heads are telling the truth.

When you know how the three branches of government work together, who your government officials are, what they do, and how to contact them, then you can find help when you have problems with government agencies.

And you can make better choices when you vote.

Tailor the Course

to Your Needs

This course is designed for five two-hour sessions, but can be adapted to as little as a single one-hour session.

We can tailor it for specific audiences. 

Regardless of age group, civic experience, or occupation, your staff, members, and clients will benefit from Civics 101.