Civics Connection





 





The Civics Connection aims to engage former Members of Congress as teachers of the next generation of citizens, to connect outstanding high school teachers with former Members of Congress and other experts, and to deliver on-demand broadcast-quality programs featuring former Members of Congress as instructors of basic civic education. This connection is cultivated by providing the series online and involving students in the program by asking them to submit questions for answer in the final broadcast in the series.

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2011

March 30, 2011 Webcast

The first webcast of the 2011 season was aired live on March 30. The webcast, entitled “Congress and the Budget,” featured former Members John Tanner (D-TN) and William Zeliff (R-NH). The webcast answered such questions as:

  1. How is the budget formulated? (i.e. how much is typically spent on defense and education).
  2. How does the budget get passed?
  3. What happens if Congress and the President can’t come to an agreement? Could the 1995-96 Government shutdown happen again?

August 2, 2011 (to be aired in Fall 2011) Webcast

The second webcast of 2011 was taped at the George Washington University studio and will be aired during the fall 2011 semester. The episode, entitled “Women in Congress” featured former Congresswomen Barbara Kennelly (D-CT) and FMC Vice President Connie Morella (R-MD). The webcast covered such questions as:

  1. A historical perspective on women in Congress: what it was like to be a female Member of Congress?
  2. What are some of the unique challenges and opportunities of being a woman in Congress?
  3. How has the role of women in Congress changed over the years? What is it like at present?

August 2, 2011 (to be aired in Fall 2011) Webcast

The final webcast of 2011 was also taped at the George Washington University studio and will be aired during the fall 2011 semester. This episode featured former Members of Congress Mark Green (R-WI) and Nick Lampson (D-TX). The webcast topic was “Redistricting and Gerrymandering” and answered such questions as:

  1. What is redistricting? What is gerrymandering? Why is it done?
  2. What are some of the positive and negative effects of gerrymandering?
  3. What are some possible alternatives to redistricting?

2010

March 3, 2010 Webcast

The first webcast of 2010 in The Civics Connection project was broadcast on March 3, 2010. The topic of the webcast was: “The Experience of African American Lawmakers.” Two former Members of Congress, Representative Rev. Walter Fauntroy (D-DC, House of Representatives 1971 – 1990) and Representative Albert Wynn (D-MD, House of Representatives 1993 – 2008) were joined by moderator Jonathan Kuhl, Associate Director of Congressional Affairs with the Congressional Youth Leadership Council, along with 20 high school students for a 30 minute discussion and question and answer session about the subject.

March 24, 2010 Webcast

The second webcast of 2010 in The Civics Connection Project was broadcast on March 24, 2010. The topic of the webcast was:Our Bicameral Legislature: do the two chambers still meet the Founding Fathers’ vision?” Representative Connie Morella (R-MD, House of Representatives 1987-2003) and Mr. Martin Gold, a Partner with Covington & Burling, LLP were joined by moderator Jonathan Kuhl, Associate Director of Congressional Affairs with the Congressional Affairs with the Congressional Youth Leadership Council, along with 18 high school students for a 30 minute question and answer session.

April 7, 2010 Webcast

The next webcast in the 2010 series was broadcast on April 7, 2010. The topic was The Interaction between Congress and the Executive Branch” and featured the Hon. Nancy Boyda (D-KS, 2007 – 2009), and the Hon. Mickey Edwards (R-OK, 1977 – 1993). The webcast was moderated by Johnathan Kuhl of the Congressional Youth Leadership Council, and was aired live from the George Washington University studio.

September 22, 2010 Webcast

The first fall episode of the 2010 series took place on September 22 and featured the Hon. Larry LaRocco (D-ID) and the Hon. Mike Ferguson. The webcast topic was “Politics and the New Media” and explored:

  1. The 24-hour News Cycle: With cable news networks such as CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, along with the internet, news coverage never stops. How has this impacted members of Congress, the legislative process and campaigns?
  2. Digital Media: Every member of Congress now has a webpage, and many have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. Ask how these technological changes have impacted the way members of Congress and candidates communicate with voters.
  3. Opinions and Bias: It used to be that only newspaper editorial pages offered their opinions on the news of the day. Today, cable networks, blogs and magazines present the news through the prism of their political bias. Is this good for our democracy? What role do members of Congress play in this new hyper-partisan media environment?

October 13, 2010 Webcast

The second webcast of the fall 2010 semester aired on October 13 and featured the Hon. Bob Carr (D-MI), the Hon. Bill Hudnut (R-IN), and was moderated by Acting House Historian Fred Beuttler. The subject of the webcast, “Congress’ Role in the War Against Iraq: the War Powers Resolution in Action,” covered:

  1. The Executive Branch’s role as Commander-in-Chief vs. the Legislative Branch’s role as the Constitutional holder of the right to declare war
  2. The House and the Senate interaction as a war resolution is passed
  3. Running a political campaign while the nation debates going to war

November 2, 2010 Webcast

The last webcast of the 2010 season aired live on November 2, the same day as the midterm elections. In light of this, the subject of the webcast was “The 2010 Midterms Elections.” This episode featured the Hon. Bev Byron (D-MD) and the Hon. Jack Buechner. The webcast and its audience of 20 high school students explored:

  1. What are the first steps for a newly elected Member of Congress? What happens between the day after the election and the swearing in? What are some of the challenges in being a freshman Member of Congress?
  2. With a new Congress comes new leadership. How are the new House and Senate leaders chosen? What does a change in leadership mean for Congress?
  3. What does a Republican majority in the House mean for a Democratic Administration? For a Democratic Senate?

2009

In 2009, the Civics Connection received a grant from the US Department of Education and the Association worked in partnership with the Lou Frey Institute of the University of Central Florida, and the Congressional Youth Leadership Council to produce three on-demand live webcasts with a live, in-studio audience of high school students from around the country.

September 2009 Webcast

The first webcast in The Civics Connection project was broadcast on September 23, 2009, from 2:00 until 2:30 p.m.  The topic of the webcast was: “Choosing Congress, Pursuing Public Service on the National Stage.” Two former Members of Congress, Representative Beverly Byron (D-MD, House of Representatives 1979-1993) and Representative Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY, House of Representatives 1983-2007)  were joined by moderator Jonathan Kuhl, Associate Director of Congressional Affairs with the Congressional Youth Leadership Council,  and by 22 high school students for a 30 minute question and answer session about the subject.  The webcast was recorded at the television studio of the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

October 2009 Webcast

The second webcast in The Civics Connection project was broadcast on October 7, 2009, from 2:00 until 2:30 p.m.  The topic of the webcast was:  “So you got yourself elected – now what?” Two former Members of Congress, Representative John J. Rhodes, III (R-AZ, House of Representatives 1987-1993) and Representative Anthony J. “Tobby” Moffett (D- CT, House of Representatives 1975-1983) were joined by moderator Jonathan Kuhl, Associate Director of Congressional Affairs with the Congressional Youth Leadership Council, and by 21 high school students for a 30 minute question and answer session about the subject.  The webcast was recorded at the television studio of the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

November 2009 Webcast

The third webcast in The Civics Connection project was broadcast on November 11, 2009, from 2:00 until 2:30 p.m.  The topic of the webcast was: “How does a bill really become law – the intricacies of the Committee System?” Two former Members of Congress, Representative Jim Kolbe (R-AZ, House of Representatives 1985 -   2005) and Representative Marty Russo (D-IL, House of Representatives 1975 – 1993) were joined by moderator Terrance Rucker with the Office of History and Preservation, part of the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, and by 22 high school students for a 30 minute question and answer session about the subject.  The webcast was recorded at the television studio of the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

2008

In 2008, FMC partnered with the Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government at the University of Central Florida to organize the pilot of this project. The topic of focus was the “Energy Debate” and involved former Members of Congress who worked on this issue while in Congress, and other experts from the American Gas Association, the World Wildlife Fund, the Department of Energy, and current staff members from Capitol Hill.