Welcome to The Dirksen Congressional
Center's Communicator - a web-based e-newsletter providing
educators with news and ideas to improve the understanding of
Congress -- http://www.webcommunicator.org.
1. People Who Served in Congress
2. Congress Defined
3. Workshop: Congress in the Classroom® 2007
4. Women Serving in the 110th Congress
5. Congress: Lawmaking
6. Congress: Teaching It
7. State of the Union Bingo 2007 & Trivia
8. Postscript Information
1. PEOPLE WHO SERVED IN CONGRESS
Sketches of famous and not-so-famous Senators and Representatives
Nancy Pelosi. Since 1987, Nancy Pelosi has represented
California's Eighth District in the House of Representatives.
The Eighth District includes most of the City of San Francisco
including Golden Gate Park, Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, and
many of the diverse neighborhoods that make up San Francisco.
Elected by her colleagues in the fall of 2002 as Democratic Leader
of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi is the first woman
in American history to lead a major party in the U.S. Congress.
Before being elected Leader, she served as House Democratic Whip
for one year and was responsible for the party's legislative
strategy in the House. On January 4, 2007, Nancy Pelosi was elected
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (see http://speaker.house.gov/).
Pelosi graduated from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. in
1962. Pelosi and her husband, Paul Pelosi, a native of San Francisco,
have five children: Nancy Corinne, Christine, Jacqueline, Paul
and Alexandra, and six grandchildren.
Two excellent sites for more information about Speaker Pelosi
are (1) the “Votes Database” hosted by the Washington
Post at http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/p000197/;
and (2) the New York Times archives at http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/p/nancy_pelosi/index.html?inline=nyt-per.
Sources: http://www.house.gov/pelosi/; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Pelosi; http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=P000197
2. CONGRESS DEFINED
Words and phrases that describe congressional processes
Earmark. To set aside funds for a specific purpose, use,
or recipient. In its most frequent use, “earmark” carries
a negative connotation suggesting that the funds are used for
narrow, parochial purposes that confer a special (and unneeded)
financial windfall on an undeserving project. Sometimes referred
to as “pork.” Proponents of earmarks argue that
local officials are best suited to decide how to spend federal
grants to benefit their communities; they point to successful
research projects, parks, academic grants, and public works funded
Source: Congressional Quarterly’s American Congressional
Dictionary, 3rd edition, ed. Walter Kravitz (Washington
DC: CQ Press, 2001):87.
3. WORKSHOP: CONGRESS IN THE CLASSROOM® 2007
ATTENTION HIGH SCHOOL AND MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHERS
** Call For Participation: Congress in the Classroom® 2007**
DEADLINE: March 30, 2007
The 2007 program will feature a broad overview of Congress with
special attention to the new 110th Congress with the Democrats
in charge for the first time in more than a decade. Tentative
session titles are listed below.
NOTE: Additional sessions will be listed as presenters are
confirmed. More information about the content of each session
will be posted as it becomes available.
- Opening Remarks: A View from Capitol Hill –– The
Honorable Ray LaHood, (R-IL, 18th District, U.S. House of Representatives)
- Congressional Insight: An Interactive Simulation of a
Member's First Term in the House of Representatives –– Bethany
Dame, National Association of Manufacturers
- Legislative Life and the Meaning of Public Service --
Grant Reeher, Associate Professor of Political Science, Maxwell
School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University
- Rules, Rules, Rules: Congress Relies on Them -- Don
Wolfensberger, Director of the Congress Project, Woodrow Wilson
- Finding the Humor in Congress -- Frank H. Mackaman,
Staff Member, The Dirksen Congressional Center
- Electoral College Strategy 2008 -- Thomas F. Schaller,
Professor of Political Science, University of Maryland, Baltimore
- Why Principled Leadership in Public Service Matters --
Brad McMillan, Executive Director, Institute for Principled
Leadership in Public
- A Former Staff Member’s Perspective on Congress --
Brian D. Posler, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs,
University of Southern Indiana
- What Every New Senator Should Know about the U.S. Senate --
Richard A. Baker, Historian, U.S. Senate Historical Office
- How to Get Your Point Across to Congress Members --
Stephanie Vance, AdVanced Communications, Washington DC
- The Dirksen Center Web Suite as a Resource for Teachers –– Cindy
Koeppel, The Dirksen Congressional Center
Other Program Highlights
In addition to the hour-long sessions described above, we
will offer what we call "Sound Bites," or 15-minute
sessions, on campaign commercials, campaign literature, a film
clip of Senator Dirksen explaining the nature of congressional
leadership, a new Web feature dealing with the Civil Rights
Act of 1964, among other possibilities.
Take a look at The Dirksen Center Web site - http://www.dirksencenter.org/print_programs_CongressClassroom.htm --
to see what participants say about the program and to learn more
about the scheduled sessions and presenters.
If you are interested in registering for the Congress
in the Classroom® 2007 workshop, you can complete
an online registration form found at: http://www.dirksencenter.org/programs_CiCapplication.htm.
4. WOMEN SERVING IN THE 110TH CONGRESS
Link to facts and findings about the women serving in the 110th
Congress 2007–2009 on CongressLink. Find this resource –– Women
Serving in the 110th Congress –– at: http://www.congresslink.org/print_index8.htm.
5. CONGRESS: LAWMAKING
Online resources emphasize historical materials about the Civil
Rights Acts of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the U.S.
6. CONGRESS: TEACHING IT
Civil Rights Documentation Project –– http://www.congresslink.org/civilrights/index.htm
The Civil Rights Documentation Project provides a fuller
accounting of law-making based on the unique archival resources
housed at The Dirksen Congressional Center, including the collection
of then-Senate Minority Leader Everett McKinley Dirksen (R-IL),
widely credited with securing the passage of the bills. The project
takes the form of an interactive presentation with links to digitized
historical materials and other Internet-based resources about
civil rights legislation created by museums, historical societies,
and government agencies. We hope to provide resources teachers
can use to create lesson plans and materials to supplement their
teaching of the legislative process, of recent American history,
and of the civil rights movement, among other social studies
How a Bill Becomes Law: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 –– http://www.congresslink.org/print_lp_civilrights.htm
How a Bill Becomes a Law: The Case of the Civil Rights Act
of 1964 is a student guide through the legislative process.
The general purpose of this unit is to demonstrate to students
the step-by-step procedure of a bill becoming a law using the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a case study. Students will understand
how Congress makes laws and the role of congressional committees
in this process. This will help them understand key concepts
associated with the legislative process such as filibuster,
cloture, bipartisan, petition, and lobbying. Additionally,
they will also see how controversial social issues, such as
civil rights, greatly affect the process.
7. STATE OF THE UNION BINGO 2007 & TRIVIA
State of the Union Bingo 2007 is offered by The National Constitutional
Center for students in grades 6-12. Designed as a lesson plan
to engage students with the address in a fun and interactive
way, this learning tool helps users understand the constitutional
requirements for the State of the Union address, examine the
choices the President makes, describe the events and topics addressed,
and analyze the President's legislative plan. Find State of the
Union Bingo 2007 at: http://www.congressforkids.net/games/execbranch_job1/2_presjob_1.htm
** State of the Union Trivia **
Practice makes perfect! See how many multiple-choice questions
your students can get correct. Find State of the Union Trivia at: http://www.congressforkids.net/games/execbranch_job1/1_presjob_1.htm.
Trivia: First elected to the United States Senate in
1960, this man became the longest serving senator in American
history on June 12, 2006. Who accomplished this feat?
A. Edward Kennedy
B. Robert Byrd
C. Joseph Biden
D. Daniel Inouye
*Find the answer in next month's issue.
Answer to December's Fun, Facts, and Trivia: http://www.webcommunicator.org/classroom%20resources/funfactstrivia_ans1206.htm.
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