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Archive for the ‘Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions’ Category

A broad cross-section of community leaders, including St. Petersburg College President Bill Law and Downtown/Midtown Provost Kevin Gordon, will take questions from citizens when the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions continues a unique design for civic dialog at its second Speed Date Your Local Leaders program April 22.

Speed-Date-CLW-TBT

The event, which includes free pizza and soft drinks, will be from 6-8 p.m. at the Museum of Fine Arts, 235 Beach Drive NE., St. Petersburg.

ISPS is dedicated to elevating civic engagement through public forums that offer in-depth exploration of today’s critical issues. The Speed Date format gives community members a special way to connect with community leaders in an informal setting.

At its debut of this new concept in civic engagement held at SPC’s Clearwater campus last December for north county residents, almost 100 attendees took advantage of the opportunity to meet face to face with representatives from government, business, not-for-profit and education arenas. The leaders rotated from table to table every seven minutes, offering each group of participants an opportunity to ask questions or offer ideas that might never have prompted a phone call, email or public testimony.

Sixteen local leaders, mostly representing St. Petersburg or south county constituencies, have committed to participating this time. They are:

  • Bridgette Bello, Publisher, Tampa Bay Business Journal
  • Dr. Marcie Biddleman, Executive Director, Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County
  • David Downing, Executive Director, Visit St. Petersburg-Clearwater
  • Kathryn Gillette, CEO, Bayfront Health St. Petersburg
  • Dr. Kevin Gordon, Provost, St. Petersburg College Downtown & Midtown Centers
  • Watson L. Haynes II, President & CEO, Pinellas County Urban League
  • Anthony Holloway, Chief of Police, City of St. Petersburg
  • Jeff Johnson, State Director, AARP Florida
  • Rick Kriseman, Mayor, City of St. Petersburg
  • Dr. Bill Law, President, St. Petersburg College
  • Dr. Kent Lydecker, Director, Museum of Fine Arts
  • Tim Nickens, Editor of Editorials, Tampa Bay Times
  • Chris Steinocher, President & CEO, St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Dr. Kanika Tomalin, Deputy Mayor, City of St. Petersburg
  • Dr. Sophia Wisniewska, Chancellor, USF St. Petersburg
  • Ken Welch, Pinellas County Commissioner

Speed Date Your Local Leaders is modeled after a program by the same name offered by the Institute’s partner organization, The Village Square Tallahassee.

The event is free and open to the public, but participants are required to register in advance through the Institute’s website: solutions.spcollege.edu

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The Village Square, an initiative of the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College, will host Same-Sex Marriage: Saying ‘I Do’ Does Not End the Debate, a forum that explores the implications of same-sex marriage on Thursday, March 26. The forum will be from 6 to 8:15 p.m. in the SPC Seminole Campus Conference Center, 9200 113th St. N. Advance registration for the dinner event is required.

Although the U.S. District Court ordered county clerks to issue marriage licenses to couples regardless of gender, that neither settles nor ends the debate. The U.S. Supreme Court in January decided to hear appeals from four states where gay-marriage bans have been upheld. That creates the possibility that a majority of justices could vote to uphold same-sex marriage bans in Florida and the 30 other states that have formal bans – or to end such bans and legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

A panel of experts will explore these undetermined implications:

  • Ben Diamond, attorney, Williamson, Diamond & Caton, P.A.
  • David Liebert, professor and department chair for Social and Behavioral Sciences, St. Petersburg College
  • Nadine Smith, CEO, Equality Florida
  • John Stemberger, president, Florida Family Policy Council
  • Craig Kopp, station manager, WMNF FM, will serve as moderator

About the Institute: The Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College is a resource for academic enrichment, a non-partisan venue for civil, objective debate of topical public issues, a center to promote better government, and a resource for sustainable economic development. Its mission is to support a broad array of research, training, educational and policy analysis and support activities at the local, state, regional and national levels.

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Congressman David Jolly

Congressman David Jolly

St. Petersburg College’s New Ideas Conference, with honorary host and moderator Congressman David Jolly, will bring together national, state and local leaders to discuss and offer innovative solutions to some of the most pressing policy issues facing the United States and Pinellas County. The daylong event will include panel discussions on the topics of education, budget reform, energy and the environment, and transportation.

“This is an opportunity for our community to engage in a productive conversation with some of the brightest minds on these topics,” said Congressman Jolly, R- St. Petersburg. “This type of open dialogue is critical to building consensus that can lead to real solutions for our most difficult challenges.”

The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 27, in the Digitorium, UP 160, at SPC’s Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N. The conference is presented by SPC’s Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions (ISPS), and sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times, Bright House Networks and Boston Capital Leasing. The event is open to the public and admission is free, but seating is limited. Registration is required.

State Sen. John Legg, chairman of the K-12 state Senate Education committee; Dr. Michael Grego, Superintendent of Pinellas County Schools; and Tonette Salazar, State Relations Director of the Education Commission of the States, are among the panelists who will discuss the topic “Revolution in Learning: What the Future Holds for Public Education.”

Panelists discussing budget reform will include Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum and former Director of the Congressional Budget Office; Dr. Joshua Gordon, Policy Director of the Concord Coalition; and former Congressman Jim Davis, former member of the House Budget Committee.

Former South Carolina Congressman Bob Inglis, who launched the Energy and Enterprise Initiative, will headline an energy and environment panel that also includes Susan Glickman, Florida Director of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy; Buck Martinez, Senior Director of the Office of Clean Energy at Florida Power and Light; and state Rep. Dwight Dudley.

Panelists discussing “Transitioning Transportation: Moving Our Economy Forward” will include Jim Boxold, Florida Secretary of Transportation; State Senator Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg; and Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch.

“At the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions, we strongly believe that the combination of civic engagement and civil discourse can produce strategic public policy solutions, and the goal of this conference is exactly that,” said David Klement, Executive Director of ISPS.

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A conversation about wide-ranging issues faced by women and families, facilitated by state Rep. Kathleen Peters (R-Dist. 69) will be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 4 at St. Petersburg College, Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N, UP-303. Advance registration is requested. The event is free and open to the public.

The event is part of a series of conversations taking place across the state that started in September and will continue through the month of December. The events are hosted by the Florida Commission on the Status of Women. The commission will submit its findings in a comprehensive report called “Your Voice Matters: Conversations With Florida Women and Families.” The report will be released at 2015 Florida Women’s Day at the Capitol in Tallahassee on March 24.

For more information, visit the commission’s website.

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The Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions presents a new and unique design for civic dialog with its first Speed Date Your Local Leaders program on Dec. 3. The event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on the Clearwater Campus, Room ES-104. The event is free and open to the public, but participants are required to register in advance.

SPC’s policy institute is dedicated to elevating civic engagement through public forums that offer in-depth exploration of today’s critical issues. The Speed Date format gives community members a special way to connect with community leaders in an informal setting.

This is an opportunity to meet face to face with representatives from government, business, not-for-profit and education arenas. The leaders will rotate from table to table every seven minutes, offering each group of participants an opportunity to ask questions or offer ideas that might never have prompted a phone call, email or public testimony.

Eighteen local leaders have committed to participating. They are:

  • Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos
  • Clearwater City Manager Bill Horne
  • Clearwater Police Chief Dan Slaughter
  • SPC Clearwater Provost Dr. Stan Vittetoe
  • Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce President Bob Clifford
  • TechData Director of Human Resources Marian Morlock
  • Tampa Bay Business Journal Publisher Bridgette Bello
  • JWB Director of Public Policy Debra Prewitt
  • AARP Florida Associate State Director of Advocacy Laura Cantwell
  • Pinellas County Administrator Mark Woodard
  • Pinellas Education Foundation Vice President of Development Robin McGowan
  • Pinellas Sports Commission Director Kevin Smith
  • Platinum Bank Senior Executive Vice President James Ray
  • Clearwater Marine Aquarium Chief Operating Officer Frank Dame
  • Pinellas County Board of Commissioners Vice Chair John Morroni
  • Pinellas County Board of Commissioners Member Janet Long
  • Morton Plant Mease Hospital Foundation President & CEO Ernestine Bean
  • Pinellas County Schools Deputy Superintendent Dr. William Corbett.

Speed Date Your Local Leaders is modeled after a program by the same name offered by the Institute’s partner organization, The Village Square Tallahassee. And following the Tallahassee template, free pizza and soft drinks will be provided.

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Finalists in the Great Debate competition will debate Immigration Reform on Thursday, Nov. 13 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in the Seminole Campus Digitorium. Competition finalists include:

  • Zoe Gambel, Clearwater Campus
  • Laken Hamby, Seminole Campus
  • Sami Iachello, Tarpon Springs Campus
  • Catherine Stacy, St. Petersburg /Gibbs Campus
  • Martha Rhine, SPC Downtown Center/SPC Midtown Center

The debate competition is sponsored by SPC’s Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions, with support from a grant by the Florida Campus Compact Democracy Project. Winners receive gift card prizes of:

  • $500 for first place
  • $250 for second place
  • $125 for third place
  • $75 for fourth place
  • $50 for fifth place

View event details.

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turbovoteJust in time for the Nov. 4 midterm election, St. Petersburg College has been mentioned in the National Journal for its efforts to engage students in the voting process. The article talks about how colleges and universities are using technology to promote voter engagement among college-age students and help get them to the polls.

As part of its effort to increase student voter engagement, SPC partnered with TurboVote, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, to adopt an innovative “one-stop-shop” voter engagement platform. TurboVote’s Election Day memos include ballot previews with links to candidates’ websites to help voters make informed, educated decisions at the polls.

“The purpose is to make it as painless as possible for students to register to vote,” David Klement, executive director of the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at SPC, was quoted as saying in the article. “Knowing how many young people are tech-savvy and do everything on their cell phones or computers, it’s an electronic platform.”

In TurboVote’s blog update on Oct. 6, St. Petersburg College was ranked in the Top 20 with 425 student registrations out of more than 200 TurboVote colleges and universities in the U.S.

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