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.


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

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


Separation of Church and State:  Myths and Facts
The Founders Tried to Protect Us from Religious Extremists
National Day of Prayer is Unconstitutional
May 4, 2016

May 5, 2016 is the 65th annual National Day of Prayer.  It clearly violates our Constitution’s First Amendment.  America’s founders deliberately kept god out of the Constitution because they didn’t want a theocracy. But many Americans now try to force all of us to practice their faith, and prevent some from practicing different faiths. Nothing is more un-American.​

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

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.

You Can Influence Government Regulations
The Republicans are governing by fantasy.

On January 30, 2017, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13771, requiring all federal government agencies to eliminate two prior regulations for each new regulation adopted.  This is a dangerous, irresponsible, and ludicrous stunt.  

Why Does Congress Take a Five Week “Vacation”?
Why Doesn’t the Media Explain This Stuff?

Congress will recess soon and will return to work sometime after Labor Day, leading millions of Americans to gripe, yet again, about the easy life of our Congressional representatives. Sorry folks, this one isn’t true either.

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.

Political Ignorance Breeds Political Impotence.

Patricia A. O'Malley

Social Policy & Programs Consulting

Training and Services for agencies working toward social and economic justice