Cultural Activities: Political Participation

After you have been a Permanent Resident for a period of time you can then become a citizen with the ability to vote and to run for office, but there are other ways to participate in the political system.


Political participation has a long history in the United States, in fact, many of the Europeans who first immigrated to America did so because they were protesting the religious persecution they experienced in their home countries.

The years leading up to and during the Revolutionary War were also full of protests and political thought. The US constitution was written by a bunch of people who were very much interested in how to form the best government for their 13 colonies.

Even in recent years, the value of political participation has been felt during the upheaval of the Great Recession. There are many different forms of political participation, but two main categories may be considered voting and protest.

Only for Citizens?

While citizens are the only residents of the United States to vote, that doesn’t necessarily limit permanent residents from participating in the politics of the times. Many peaceful protests are organized every year in the interest of immigrants in the United States and it only take a little bit of looking to find an organization that supports these activities.

The two-party system

The US has what is called a two-party system. There are two rather large political parties, but these aren’t the only ones, there are many smaller parties which are collectively known as “third parties”.

However, the majority of Americans choose to be represented in their government by the two major parties. Learning more about these two political parties may help you get a better understanding of how you lean on the political spectrum.