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Dean Arp Speaks to Civics Classes

Representative Dean Arp recently spoke to Ms. Speck and Mr. Harwood’s Civics classes. During the presentation, Representative Arp explained a typical day, types of activities he engages in, and the path that led him to the North Carolina House of Representatives.

Representative Arp began his presentation by explaining his term of elected office. He was elected in November 2012 for a 2-year term and, as Arp stated, “I am basically your voice in Raleigh.” Arp is bi-vocational, which means he serves as our elected representative in Raleigh while still managing his engineering company in Monroe. He noted that this aspect of serving as an elected official is different from national Congressional representatives who serve in government as their full-time job. Arp was motivated to go into politics because he wanted to use his many gifts and talents to enact changes that he felt were needed after serving for 12 years on the Union County Public Schools Board of Education.

To integrate what the students had learned in their Civics curriculum, Rep. Arp explained his role in passing the state budget, passing laws, and serving on committees. For example, Arp serves on the Education, Transportation, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, Appropriations, and Judiciary Committees. To illustrate how the Civics content relates to his job in Raleigh, he provided details on the process of getting a bill to become a law and how federalism and separation of powers, key concepts in the Civics class, are evident in the political process in Raleigh.

There was an opportunity for a Q&A with the students and Ladell Talley asked Arp what the most stressful part of his job was?” According to Arp, “Time management!” as he must balance both his busy schedule in Raleigh with operating his engineering business in Monroe. Arp did note, however, that “I find it deeply rewarding and worth the effort when legislation is passed!”

Another student asked Arp what the best part of serving as a Representative was. Arp replied, “I enjoy the constituent services the most.” Regarding constituent services, Arp explained that this involves solving problems or possibly serving as a facilitator with national government officials for the people in his district.

Representative Arp’s presentation helped connect classroom content with the real world of political life. According to Tiphany Speck, Civics teacher, “Representative Arp presented a clear understanding of the North Carolina political landscape and clarified for many students the roles and responsibilities of those who serve in government.”

Written by: Donna Helms, Web Editor
Posted: Jan 13, 2014 by Donna Helms

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