These essays do what our schools fail to do.
They teach civics properly.
It's not your boring high school civics class.
Pat uses current events and the U.S. Constitution to explain what's happening, and why.
​With these tools, you can better understand current events, 
be an informed voter, and influence your government officials.
You can help make the world be what you want it to be.

 ​America will work for you

when you know how to make it work.
American politics are in turmoil because most Americans don't understand how their government works.

Those who understand how government 
works know how to influence it. 
Through Community Matters, I use the U.S. Constitution and current events to teach American government – civics.
I don't report the news.  I explain it.

Civics is

the study
of the structure and function
of government,
and the rights and duties
of citizens.

  • It looks at the ways that our governments are organized, how they're supposed to work, and how they really do work.

  • Civics is an essential, but neglected, area of our education. 

  • The government operates by a set of rules.  

  • We have the right and responsibility to participate in our government. 
  • However, we can't participate fully if we don't know those rules.

I've been writing Community Matters since 2008.
Here are my most recent articles.

Political Ignorance Breeds Political Impotence.


The same old issues keep re-appearing on our political landscape.

So, occasionally, I'll feature a previous article which is relevant today.


​Standing and Pledging:  Style Versus Substance

How one man’s courage created a movement

Before three football games in August, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem.  He was protesting random police murders of innocent black men and the failure of the American justice system to hold the police accountable for those murders.  Kaepernick said "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
And then this happened.

Patricia A. O'Malley
Social Policy & Programs Consulting    ~    Community Matters
P.O. Box 97803    ~    Pittsburgh, PA  15227   ~    412-310-4886    ~
Copyright Patricia A. O'Malley    ~    All rights reserved
Established 1993

Labor Unions: Myths and Facts
We need them now, more than ever.

The Republicans blame labor unions for every problem we face. It’s just another pathetic stunt to divide, conquer, and destroy the American middle class. Labor unions benefit every working person in America, whether they belong to a union or not.

Patricia A. O'Malley

Social Policy & Programs Consulting

Training and Services for agencies working toward social and economic justice

Free Speech:  Myths and Facts
Our schools still don’t teach this stuff.

Every once in a while, a public figure’s head explodes and some nasty statements, usually some form of bigotry – racist, sexist, classist, nationalist, religiophobic, homophobic, xenophobic, or whatever – spew forth.  Then some people object. Then other people object to the first bunch. Then millions of Americans whip themselves into a colossal panic, whining about their “First Amendment Rights”. 

And they’re wrong.

America:  Respect the Principles,

Not the Symbols


While our nation faces so many difficult issues, Americans are more divided than at any time since the 1960s.  

We’re debating whether we should reject our principles in order to worship our symbols.