Our Government

Government affects our daily lives - even the lives of those who don't pay much attention to it. Because it matters, it helps to understand a bit about it. You may not recall much from your high school civics classes (granted, some things may have changed), or you may not have been interested until now, so here's where you can learn/refresh on our Federal and local government.

Find out how our government agencies and departments are organized and find important links where you can track the activities of those who lead us. What's more, learn how you can have a say and get involved (for example, joining City of Mesa boards and committees, speaking out at Council Meetings, and participating in the Request to Speak (RTS) platform where you can support/oppose and even testify on Arizona State Legislature proposed bills).


America's Founding Documents - from the US National Archives and Records Administration. See these three documents, known as the Charters of Freedom:

  • Declaration of IndependenceThe Declaration of Independence expresses the ideals on which the United States was founded and the reasons for separation from Great Britain.
  • The US ConstitutionThe Constitution defines the framework of the Federal Government of the United States.
  • The Bill of RightsThe Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. It defines citizens’ and states’ rights in relation to the Government.

Federal

How It Works: Branches of the US Government & How the US Government is Organized - From USA.gov (official guide to government info and services): Provides basic understanding of branches of government, their roles and responsibilities, and offers links and directories to each as well as to agencies, departments, and commissions.

"I'm Just a Bill"

A 1976 Schoolhouse Rock! video that shares the process of how a bill becomes a law. (Credit: Dave Frishberg, ABC Television)

Important Links:

GovTrack.us: Tracking the United States Congress - What began as a project to make the U.S. Congress more open and accessible has become a great way to track representatives, legislators, and bills. Who voted for and against what? This is the place to check! Follow trending legislation (things you hear about in the news), find legislation that affects you by issue area, and search/track current members of Congress, including metrics, committees, legislation enacted, bills sponsored, and voting records. 

Congress.gov - Official website for U.S. Federal legislative information, from the Library of Congress. Main page features most-viewed bills and a handfull of bill searches/lists. Also click "Advanced Searches" for filtered searching.

State

How It Works: About Arizona Government - Explains the branches of Arizona government, contains links to official sites for each branch, explains the state's accounting and funding systems. Also includes links to statewide elected officials, state agencies, and to cities and towns.

Important Links:

Arizona State Legislature - The site for the Arizona Senate and Arizona House. If it's bills, committees, legislation, you'll find it here. It's also the home of the Request to Speak (RTS) system (see below).

Find / Contact your Arizona Legislators

Request to Speak (RTS) - System where registered users can support or oppose bills moving through Arizona House and Senate. Visit CEBV (Community Engagement Beyond Voting) to get an account!

Request to Speak manual

Intro to Request to Speak from Arizona Education Association

LD25 Events that feature RTS

Congress.gov - The official website for U.S. Federal legislative information. Can limit by state to reach our representatives and their bills. Main page features most-viewed bills and a handfull of bill searches/lists. Also click "Advanced Searches" for filtered searching.

openstates.orgReview upcoming legislation and see how your local representatives are voting in your state. Bill tracking is offered by free subscription. 

County

How It Works:  Our Structure (Maricopa County) - Scroll down to learn about Board of Supervisors, Elected Officers, organizational chart, and maps. Provides links to departments and services.

Two Board Supervisors represent sections of Mesa. District 1 covers the west part of the city; District 2 represents the rest. Use this District Locator to identify your county district. (It's the number that appears after "Supervisiorial/MCCCD/SPHCD.")

City

How It Works:  City of Mesa Mayor and Council - Explains Mesa's charter form of government. 

Government - Links to the City of Mesa organizational chart, department listing, council strategic plan, boards and committees (which are excellent leadership growth/advocacy opportunities), city code, etc.

Important Links:   City of Mesa website - Portal for all services and activities in Mesa.

City of Mesa Online Meeting Comment Card  - Let your voice be heard by filling out this comment card for items to be addressed in City Council Meetings.

Council Board and Committee Meeting Comment Card - Use to share your feedback related to agenda items at City of Mesa Advisory Board and Committee meetings.

Mesa Leadership and Training and Development - Inaugurated in 1981, this program functions with the belief that every community has potential leaders who seek the opportunity to serve and who need exposure to information, organizations and leaders to make that service possible. Over 800 alumni have graduated from the Mesa Leadership Training & Development Program. Many have pursued public office, served on non-profit boards or city commissions and/or donated their time and energies in a variety of ways to benefit the city of Mesa and its residents.

City of Mesa Police Community Engagement Academy - a one-day experience allowing interested participants the opportunity to learn about police operations and to obtain a personal view of what a day in the life of a police officer in your neighborhood is like. Community members will participate in training, discussions, and presentations regarding Mesa Police Department policies, practices and procedures. Community leaders are encourage to attend.

Questions? Reach us at [email protected].