PoliticsPaper2 - The United States government is comprised...

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The United States government is comprised of a system that relies on the participation of its citizens. Without such participation, the system would surely fail. Within Bob Graham’s book, America, the Owner’s Manual: Making Government Work for You Graham outlines the steps one (students specifically) can use to take a discussion about policy and turn it into a real change. Within the book several different steps are presented, starting with identifying the problem and hopefully going through to creating real change. 1 At the end of the prologue Graham notes: “the lesson was clear: effective citizen participation in democracy makes a difference. ”There are a variety of different issues that might be tackled through this process. We decided to look at a problem that is specific to Spokane, Washington, and that has an affect on many people every day: the consistent traffic jams on Division Street. The primary step that Graham presents within America, the Owner’s Manual is that of defining the problem. 2 He presents the idea that one cannot solve or confront a problem (at least not successfully) unless it has been “specifically, realistically, and clearly defined.” 3 One of the most important things in any city are the streets and roads that create a system of travel through it. Needless to say, the manner in which the streets are managed is highly important. This is done through a series of rules and regulations that manage traffic and ensure that travel goes safely and efficiently. One highly important item is that of the traffic light. However, at times traffic lights could be managed better. With better traffic light synchronization many areas could work more efficiently and thereby serve citizens better. Although this problem can be applied to a 1 Bob Graham, America, The Owner’s Manual: Making Government Work for You (Washington DC: CQ Press, 2010), 16. 2 Ibid, 29. 3 Ibid , 45.
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wide range of areas throughout Spokane, we found that it would be most beneficial to focus on one certain area. Specifically, we will investigating and trying to make a change regarding the traffic lights on Division Street and the possibility that they might be better regulated so as to provide for better service to the citizens of Spokane. Spokane is an important city in Washington that could benefit from better traffic light management. Some of these lights could be improved to better serve the community. Division Street is one of the most traveled streets in Spokane; it represents a specific problem area that, if fixed, could create a grand change. Any time of day one can encounter jammed, slow-moving inefficient traffic on Division. It is a street to avoid if at all possible—as it takes far too long to make what should be a short trip down the busy street. Although the city claims to have well regulated lights on Division, one can come to the conclusion that there is a better way that this area could be managed. When driving down Division Street one finds that the lights are so poorly synchronized that a
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PoliticsPaper2 - The United States government is comprised...

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