Duties and Responsibilities of U.S. Citizens Bell Ringer Definition The concept of civic duty is based on the principle that citizens owe some allegiance to their government and that government in turn protects its citizens. Civic duties refer to the responsibilities of citizens. Often rights enjoyed by citizens also implies corresponding responsibilities. Citizenship carries with it both rights and responsibilities. Civic duties include duties and responsibilities. Duties are legally enforceable and vary with each state. Citizens must do their duties. Some examples of civic duties are obeying the law, serving on a jury, and paying taxes Legal Duties These are actions a citizen MUST do to stay within the law. An American citizen MUST… Obey laws passed by Congress (federal laws) And laws passed by state and local legislatures. An American citizen MUST… Serve as a witness if asked by the Court to do so. A witness must respond to a courtorder to appear before the court, called a subpoena. “I swear to tell the truth, the whole, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.” An American citizen MUST… Serve on a jury Employers must allow citizens to serve with no problems if asked. Citizens can be excused if they can show that serving would cause hardship. An American citizen MUST… PAY TAXES… The government provides public goods and services for the community as a whole. To pay its bills, the government needs revenue, or a source of income. The money that the federal government uses to pay its bills comes mostly from taxes. Taxes shift resources from private individuals and businesses to the government. A few ways we pay taxes… 1. Income taxes Income taxes can be charged at the federal, state and local levels 2. Sales taxes Sales taxes are taxes on goods and services purchased. These are usually calculated as a percentage of the price paid. Sales taxes vary by state 3. Payroll taxes Both employees and employers have to pay the Social Security tax, one of two payroll taxes (Medicare is the other) 4. Property taxes Property taxes are usually imposed to fund local services Civic Responsibilities These are actions a citizen should do on a voluntary basis to be a good citizen. An American citizen SHOULD… Vote in federal, state, and local elections. The voting age in the United States is 18 according to the 26th Amendment (1971) 51% is a majority and wins the vote. Voter turnout in November midterm elections was the lowest since 1942 An American citizen SHOULD… Run for political office Only if he or she feels a contribution can be made. The candidate must file with the party of their choice. It takes large amounts of money to run even a local campaign. An American citizen SHOULD… Express opinions to elected officials Citizens can write Congressional offices Making a phone call is also OK Email is possible too. An American citizen SHOULD… Participate in civic groups Volunteer Community Service https://www.dosome thing.org/ An American citizen SHOULD… Know his or her legal rights according to the Constitution. Be familiar with the Court System. Think about… 1. What does it mean to be a good citizen? In what ways are you a good citizen? Give some examples of things you've done that show good citizenship. What things could you do to be a better citizen? 2. Write about someone in your life who you feel is a good citizen. What qualities does this person have that make you see him or her that way? Which of those qualities do you have? 3. Come up with a list of some things you might do in the next year that would demonstrate good citizenship. Pick one and describe the steps you would take to carry it out. 4. Think of some kind of volunteer work you might like to do. Describe it and tell why you think you would like it. If you have done volunteer work in the past, describe what it was like and what you got out of it.